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DAVID D. BLACK, f.a.s.. so<yr.. 


" BrMthei there tbe man with soul bo dead. 
Who never to himself hath said, 

This is my own, my uatiTe land I " 

— Scott. 

Sbttm(ti ffbttfott 





V • 

* I 







When this book was origmally written in 1838, the Author 
was immersed in business, and could not bestow time on verify- 
ing all the statements in it by reference to authorities. He has 
now more leisure, and has employed it in examining every 
authority he could find bearing on the statements made. He 
cannot hope to be free from error ; but he trusts this enlarged 
edition will be found to contain fewer mistakes than the previous 
publication. He meant to have quoted his authorities, and the 
manuscript was prepared with that view, but as it was found to 
be troublesome in the printing, and of little moment tcthe 


general reader, the references are only given in particular cases. 
The list of Bishops, however, in the Appendix, is supported by 
references to the authorities, warranting the insertion of their 
names in that compilation. The original publication was no 
source of emolument to the Author — the reverse ; but it brought 
him the acquaintance of noblemen and of gentlemen, with whom 
he has had much pleasant intercourse. He has now and for- 
merly been greatly indebted to many parties for hints and 
information ; and while he feels it impossible to select par- 
ticular individuals, he finds it would be tedious to give a list of 
the whole, and he therefore confines himself to tendering general 
thanks to his numerous friends, and to living authors from 
whom he has freely borrowed when he found anything in their 
works to answer his purpose, as some of them had borrowed 
from him previously. 

The first volume of the records of the Town Council com- 
mences with Lau8 Deo, and the Author of this book desires to 
finish his labours in the same spirit, for he cannot be too thank- 
ful that after having completed his seventieth year he is enabled 
to finish this work. 

Clerk Stricbt, Brechin, 
Zrd J\dy 1867. 




II. THE HIBTORT OF BRECHIN FROM 1260 TO 1660, .... 16 


IV. THE mSTORT OF BRECHIN FROM 1600 TO 1670, . 53 . 

V. THE HISTORY OF BRECHIN FROM 1670 TO 1700, .... 82 







ZU. BRECHIN IN 1864, 258 









V. CENSUS 1S41-1851-186I, 329 


















.The origin of the city of Brechin, like Uhat of most other burghs, 
is involved in much obscurity. The oldest document belonging 
to the burgh, of which we have the exact words, is a charter by 
William the Lion, who reigned between 1165 and 1214, conr 
firming to the bishops and Keldeis of the church of Brechin a 
right of market on Sundays, as formerly granted by David I., and 
that " as freely as the Bishop of St Andrews holds a market" 
The original of the charter by KSng William is lost, but the 
precise words of it are found in various attested transumpts, and 
we give a copy of the deed in our Appendix, No. I. Now, as 
David I. died in 1153, we may fairly infer that Brechin was a 
place of some note, if not a royal burgh, as we think it was, in 
the twelfth century. Authorities differ considerably as to what 
constitutes a royal bur^. The late Mr Thomas Thomson, 
advocate, the famous antiquarian, Deputy-Olerk-Begister for 
Scotland, and to whom mainly we owe our present excellent ar- 
rangements for the keying -of the public records, in his intro- 
duction to the report of the commissioners appointed to inquire 
into the state of municipal corporations in "Scotland in 1835, says, 
(page 9) : " The origin and state of the burghs of Scotland, in 
common with those of our other political establishments, are 
unfortunately involved in all the obscurity arising necessarily 
from the absence or loss of contemporaneous and authentic 


documents." And again: " David I., whose reign of nearly thirty 
years terminated m 1153, has been commonly regarded their 
chief, if not their first founder." " And although there is not 
now to be found any charter of erection granted by that mon- 
arch in favour of any burgh royal, there exists in the chartu- 
laries of religious houses, and in other authentic records, numerous 
grants of property to bishops and abbots, which are described as 
situated in particular burghs." Mr Cosmo Innes, advocate, one of 
the principal clerks of the Court of Session, and Professor of His- 
tory in Edinburgh College, in his preface to the first volume of the 
folio edition of the Scots Acts, page 6, says : " Among the marks 
of rapid improvement and civilisation which distinguished the 
reign of David I., the most important was the recognition of the 
privileges of free burghs. There can be no doubt that commu- 
nities existed in the towns of Scotland, supported by mutual 
confederation, at a much earlier period ; and indeed here, as in 
other countries, a part of our burghal institutions can be traced 
up, with much probability, through the free towns of the Con- 
tinent, to the Municipia^ which survived the downfall of the 
empire. But it was under this wise prince that the burghs of 
Scotland took their place as recognised members of the body 
politic of a feudal kingdom. Their voluntary incorporation 
was legalised. They became tenants in capite of the Crown, 
and from that period yielded a large proportion of the revenue 
of the country, whether as rent of the tenements within burgh, 
or as custom levied on their merchandise. Theii* increasing 
consequence was aided by the organisation of an assembly for 
treating their common afiairs. Long before the principle of repre- 
sentation can be distinguished elsewhere, the burghs of Scotland 
sent delegates to a court of their own, where they framed laws for 
their common government, and reviewed decisions of individual 
burgh courts ; a burgher parliament, which, though now become 
insignificant, long continued under its successive characters of 
the Court or Convention of Burghs, one of the most remarkable of 
the peculiar institutions of Scotland. In that assembly probably 
were voted and assessed the taxes which the burghs contributed 
to the necessities of the state. We know, indeed, that they 
joined in the aids and public contributions from a very early 



period ; and it seems more probable that the burgesses met for 
that purpose in their own oourt, than that their attendance in 
the national councils during a whole century should have been 
unnoticed by the contemporary chroniclers, and in all the vestiges 
of parliamentary proceedings that remain to us.'' The regular 
series of the records of the Convention of Boyal Burghs does not 
commence till 1552, and even then the records are very incom- 
plete ; but we find Brechin represented at a meeting of the Con- 
vention held at Dundee on 18th September 1555, and although 
Brechin, like many other burghs, was negligent in sending 
representatives regularly to the Convention, and in October 1572 
was, along with other absent burghs, fined in £10 for contu- 
macy in not att^ding a meeting held at Stirling, still Brechin 
continued from time to time to send representatives to Convention, 
as the volume of records of that body, edited by Mr J. D« 
Marwick, the learned town-clerk of Edinburgh, and lately pub- 
lished by the Convention, proves. Brechin also was r^ularly as- 
sessed in its share of the public assessments ; thus in 1535, 
Brechin has to pay £56, 58. as her proportion of the 5000 merks 
allocated on the burghs of the extent of £20,000 granted by the 
three estates for sustaining James Y.'s expenses in France, and 
so on downwards, as is shown by extracts from the Council 
Becords of Edinbui^h, printed by Mr Marwick in the Conven-* 
tion volume alluded to. A royal burgh, then, does not appear 
to have been a corporation constituted by any special grant rais- 
ing it to that dignity, but a place of some importance in itself, 
recognised by a royal grant of some peculiar right, as the right 
of market granted by David I. to Brechin. Previous to 1153, 
Brechin was undoubtedly a place of some importance. Ken- 
neth III. is said in 990 to have given Brechin to the Church, 
and is described as "Hie est qui tribuit magnum civitaiem 
Brechne domino." Hector Bcece, under the reign of Malcolm 
II., (1001-1031,) represents the Danes as assailing '' Brethenum 
vetua Pictorum oppidum" and states that their leader, having 
failed in taking the citadel, "infesto agmine in oppidum et 
sanctissimum templum ruit ; quad coede, minis ac incendijs ita 
diruit, ut oppidum exinde pristinum dccus nunquam recuperarit. 
Veteris vero fani pneter turrim quandam rotundam mira arte 


constructam nullum ad nostra secula remanserit vestigium." — 
Scotorum Historice, lib. ix. All this, we think, warrants oiir 
assertion as to the importance of Brechin in the twelfth century, 
if not earlier, and we are decidedly of opinion that Brechin was 
one of the royal burghs recognised as created by David I. in or 
about 1150, as has been generally reported. 

The Keldeis or Culdees referred to in the charter by King 
William were Christian pastors brought into Britain in the 
sixth century by St Columba. Of their origin, of their name, 
their doctrine, or their church government, we know extremely 
little on any authority. Dr Reeves in his essay on the Cul- 
dees, exhaustive and learned, but possibly prejudiced, pub- 
lished in the volume of the Transactions of the Royal Irish 
Academy for 1864, derives the name from Servus Dei, the 
Servant of God, translated by the Irish into their Celtic 
compound of Cele De and re-Latinised into Caledeus and Kele- 
deus. In Gaelic, Gille Dh6 means Servant of Grod, and is just 
as likely, we think, an original for the word Culdee, as the twice 
Latinised words of Dr Reeves. The learned doctor contends that 
the Culdees of Scotland were no particular body, but clergy gene- 
rally; the name " sometimes,'* he says, (page 120,) "borne by her- 
mits, sometimes by conventuals ; in one situation implying the 
condition of celibacy, in another understood of married men; 
here denoting regulars, there seculars ; some of the name bound 
by obligations of poverty, others free to accmnulate property ; at 
one period high in honour as implying self-denial, at another 
regarded with contempt as the designation of the loose and 
worldly-minded." Be all this as it may, it is certain that the 
Culdees did not use images in their worship, and that their 
practices did not accord with those of the Church of Rome. 
The Culdees are stated to have had a convent in Brechin, and 
to have got a grant of the town of Brechin from King Kenneth 
III., A.D. 990. We never saw the grant, nor any satisfactory 
evidence that it ever existed ; but we find that " Leod, Abbe de 
Breichin," is witness, along with bishops and other great 
officials, to a grant made by King David I. to his new Abbey of 
Dunfermline, and it is thus inferred that the Culdees had an 
establishment in Brechin at or prior to 1150. This convent is 


believed to have stood a little to the west of the present parish 
church, in the gardens now belonging to the kirk-session, still 
called the " College Yards." A small well of delightfully pure 
water in these gardens receives the name of the College Well, 
and is reported by tradition to have been the well of the Culdee 
convent. The last mention of the Culdees in Brechin is in a 
deed granted about 1218 ; but Mr David Miller in his " Arbroath 
and its Abbey" tells us, (page 32,) that in 1219, " John Abbe, 
the son of Malise," (whom he infers to be a direct descendant of 
Abbot Leod,) '' made a grant to Arbroath of firewood from his 
woods of Edzell, for the salvation of himself, his ancestors, and 
heirs," — rather an ominous gift. We may mention that the 
Latin word translated " salvation " by Mr Miller is by some held 
rather to mean " safety." Leod, the Abbot just alluded to, appears 
to have left his property and his office (and probably the sur- 
name of Abbot) to his descendants ; for Donald, grandson of Leod, 
gifted certain lands to the monks- of Arbroath for the good of the 
souls of his father Samson, and of himself and his heirs, while the 
prior of the Culdees is a witness to the grant — ^Miller, page 32. 
Mr Cosmo Junes, in his " Sketches of Early Scottish History," says, 
page 156, — " Towards the end of the reign of WiUiam the Lion, 
we find an infusion of other clerks in the chapter, (of Brechm,) 
the prior of the convent of Culdees, however, being still the 
president In 1248, the last year of the reign of Alexander IL, 
the Culdees have disappeared altogether, and the affairs of the 
cathedral are managed in the ordinary modem form by the 
dean and chapter." Dr Beeves states that the Culdees disap- 
peared from history in 1332. The Church of Bome was too 
strong for the Culdee& David I., under the influence of Bobert, 
the English Bishop of St Andrews, gave to the canons of St 
Andrews the Culdee island of Lochleven, that they might 
establish canonical order there ; and declared that the Keledei 
who chose to live as regulars might remain, but that should any 
of them resist, his will and pleasure was that they should be 
expelled from the island — ^an injunction which the bishop was 
not slow in carrying out ; for he immediately placed the Keledei 
in subjection to the canons r^ular, and took possession of their 
Testments and library, of which a list is given in the Begister of 


the Priory of St AndrewB, page 51 . The persecution thus begun 
at Lochleven Feems to have been systematically continued through- 
out Scotland, till the Culdees disappear altogether. In Brechin, 
by 1248, as stated by Mr Innes, we find the afiairs of the diocese 
managed in the usual Episcopal form by dean and chapter, and 
the Keldeis altogether gone out of view. 

It has been generally reported that the Episcopal see of 
Brechin was endowed by David I. in 1150, but Dr Beeves is of 
opinion that he merely added a bishop to the existing society of 
Culdees, and that previously the country was wholly monastic, 
and dioceses and parishes unknown. Mr Cosmo Innes is of the 
same opinion; and in his " Sketches of Early Scotch History" 
says, page 86, — '* It was the fate of the ancient Columbite foun- 
dations in Scotland to disappear under the reforming vehemence 
of David I., the most zealous of Bomanists, who raised on the 
ruins of many a primeval monastery his grand establishments 
of Augustinian canons or benedictines, or converted their con- 
vents into the chapters of his new Episcopal dioceses." It is 
certain, however, that Samson, or rather Sansane, was bishop 
of the city of Brechin during the reign of Malcolm IV., (1153- 
1165,) for the name occurs frequently in charters granted by 
that monarch. Pope Honorius III. in a bull dated in 1218, 
arranges the Episcopal sees of the Scottish Church in this order, 
— "St Andrews, Dumblane, Glasgow, Dunkeld, Brechin, Aber- 
deen, Murray, Boss, and Caithness." (See Chalmers's " Begistrum 
Episcopatus Brechinensis," vol. ii. page 387.) We give a list of 
all the bishops of Brechin in oiu- Appendix, No. II. 

Of the Druids, who preceded the Culdees as the ministers of 
religion in Scotland, and who are said to have had an estab- 
lishment in Brechin, little is known that can be relied on, and 
that little merely from the incidental mention of these priests by 
the Boman generals in their Commentaries on the Boman Wars 
in Britain. The Druids were of various ranks and orders, and 
over the whole there was one supreme head or arch-Druid. They 
were not only the priests but the judges and physicians of the 
people. They had two sets of religious doctrines ; one known 
to the commonalty, the other only to the initiated ; and it is mip- 
I)osed that they taught the immortality of the soul. The word 


Druidh in Gaelic means wise man or magician, and this char- 
acter they appear to have kept np by all means in their power. 
Considerable doubts now exist, whether the religion of the 
Druids was of the bloody character once imputed to it, and 
whether the circles called Druid circles — the immense one at 
Stonehenge in England, the large one called the Standing 
Stones of Stennis in Orkney, and the smaller ones found in 
almost every district of Scotland — ^were really temples, or in any 
way connected with Druidical worship. Till within the lai^ 
fifty years, there was a circle of the description alluded to in 
the Muir of Leighton-hill, the vestiges of which are still to be 
discerned from the surrounding heath, by the smooth grass and 
wild flowers growing on the gently rising slope, which over- 
looks a great extent of ground around, and commands a splendid 
view of the Grampians and adjoining country. At Colmeallie, 
in Edzell, there is such a circle, and at Gilfumman of Glenesk 
there was a rocking stone, all imputed to the Druids. But 
whether these stones and circles were connected with the worship 
of the Druids, or whether the larger enclosures were not rather 
courts for the administration of justice, and places of assemblage 
of the people when framing new or altering old laws, Uke the 
Tings amongst the Norsemen, it is certain the Druids had 
places of worship in groves, chiefly planted of oaks, and that 
they paid great veneration to the mistletoe, a parasitical plant 
that fixes itself on many, trees, but was only respected by the 
Druids when found growing on the oak. 

The Culdee teachers brought to Scotland by Columba suc- 
ceeded, in process of time, in expelling the Druids, the priests of 
the ancient Scots ; and if we allow ourselves to believe that the 
Culdees did to the Druids, their predecessors, as was done to the 
Culdees by their successors, the priests of the Church of Bome, 
and subsequently to these priests by the teachers of the reformed 
doctrine, then, without much stretch of imagination, we can 
conceive that the .site of the present Presbyterian church of 
Brechin was the place of worship successively of Pruids, Culdees, 
Bomanists, Episcopalians, and Presbyteriana Nor is there any- 
thing in the situation of the church of Brechin opposed to the 
idea that it was originally a Druidical temple. The church 


stands on a sandstone rock, the sides of which are precipitous 
on the south and east ; and while the western side slopes more 
gently, the northern side appears to have been a deep ravine ; 
for every excavation made on that side proves that the earth, to 
a very great depth, is forced or artificial. Such an isolated rock 
presented a fit site for the worship of the Druids ; and the dells 
around may then have been clad, as some of them still are clothed, 
with umbrageous trees, the castle and town of Brechin being, in 
the days of the Druids, both alike unknowa Whether such a 
succession of religious orders did or did not occur on the little 
mount which for ages has been the burying-place of the inhabi- 
tants of Brechin, it is impossible positively to say ; but there is 
nothing in the supposition inconsistent with what has occurred 
amongst other nations which have undergone changes in their 
religious dynasties — ^the newly established order having gene- 
rally selected the places of worship of the expelled party for the 
site of the new churches or altara 

The derivation of the ncune of the town, like the origin of the 
burgh, is the subject of much doubt. In the oldest document 
which we have seen, the name is spelled exactly as it is now 
written — Brechin; and .the various orthographies of Brychine, 
Brechyne, BreychiB) Brechyne, Brychin, Brichein, Brichine, 
Brechyn, Brechene, Brechine, and Brichen, which may occasion- 
ally be foimd, do not throw any additional light on the origin of 
the name. 

From the connexion which existed between the Culdees and 
the town of Brecliin, and the probability that this body suc- 
ceeded a Druidical establishment at Brechin, an opinion has 
been hazarded that the name of the place is to be looked for 
from some such source ; and as it appears that in the days of St 
Columba there was a noted Druid of the name of Broichan or 
Boerchan, it has been suggested that probably the Culdees, when 
they expelled the Druids, bestowed on the place the name of the 
chief person previously connected with it. .The Druids have 
furnished another theory equally plausible for the name of our 
burgh, and it is this : — ^The island of Anglesey is well known to 
have been the principal station of the Druids in the southern 
part of Great Britain, but from this island the Druids were ex- 


pelled by the Bomans in the year 61, while Nero was emperor. 
The Druids, who were thus driven from their principal station, 
fled into Caledonia, Ireland, and the lesser British isles, carry- 
ing with them, of course, the rites and ceremonies of their 
religion, as weU as the laws and customs of their community 
which they had formerly used. In Anglesey there are yet the 
remains of a rude throne or tribunal, composed of earth and 
stones, which belonged to the arch-Druid, and which is called 
Bryngwyn or Breingwyn, that is, the Supreme or Royal Tribunal. 
The analogy of this word Brein-gwyn to Bre-chin, leads the sup- 
porters of this theory to assert that either the arch-Druid ex- 
pelled from Anglesey had taken refuge here, and hence given 
the name of a royal tribunal to this place, or that Brechin was 
always the supreme tribunal of the Druids in North Britain — 
Anglesey being then* capital in South Britain, and Dreux the 
capital of the sect in Oaul. Pretty nearly allied to this is still 
another theory, that Brechin was the principal seat of justice to 
the Druids, and thence called Brehon, or the Judger, a word 
identical with the name of those judges and laws so often men- 
tioned in the histories of Ireland. Certainly the numerous 
Druidical remains still to be found in the vicinity of Brechin — 
the circle at Easter Pitforthie — the temple at Baxrelwell or Pit- 
pullox, of which only one stone now stands — ^the erection at Vane 
of Feam — the Law or Mound on the farm of Hilton of Fearn, 
and several other similar structures — go to prove that the Druids 
were a powerfiil body in this quarter — independent of the con- 
clusions arrived at by Mr Huddleston in his edition of Toland's 
History of the Druids, that the three farms close upon Brechin 
called Pittendriech, are identical with Pit-an-druach, the burial- 
place of the Druids. 

The apparent similarity of the words Brechin and Brein-gwyn, 
royal tribunal, has given rise to another speculation regarding 
the name of the town, founded upon a tradition — ^for it scarce 
deserves a better name, if it is even entitled to that appellation — 
that Brechin was the capital of Pictavia and the seat of the 
Pictish kings, the round tower, so conspicuous an appendage of 
the church, having (as this tradition bears) been built for a hok" 
out by this nation, while the hill of Caterthun, about four miles 


to the north of the town, surrounded with an immense coronal 
of loose stones, is reported to have been a fortification belonging 
to that ancient nation ; and hence called Caither-Dun, the City 
Hill or Fort. The sf^me tradition states that the parish of Men- 
muir, in which this hill is situated, derived the name of Main- 
muir, the Stone Wall or Fort, from the erection on Caterthun, 
and that Stracathro, the parish immediately adjoining to Brechin 
on the east, was called from its locality Strath-Cath-rach, the 
City-Strath. In the oldest charters the name of this parish is 
spelt Strathcatherach, which some hold to imply Strath-Cath- 
Re, that is, the Field or Valley of Slaughter of the Kings. Our 
Gaelic friends, however, with whom we have advised, will not 
recognise any of the translations we have given, except that of 
Strath, a valley, generally taking its name from a river that runs 
through it ; and we therefore dismiss this Pictavian theory as 
altogether fanciful. 

Other antiquarians pretend, and certainly with as much ap- 
parent authority, to deduce the word Brechin from a Graelic term 
signifying a sloping bank, and descriptive of the site of the town, 
which is placed on the face of a brae, and they give us Brica as 
the Gaelic word which is thus so descriptive ; but for our own 
part we must admit we have never been able to find any Gaelic 
scholar who knew the word Brica as a Gaelic term. 

In the " Historical and Descriptive Notes of the City of Cork," 
published by J. Windele, Esq., in 1840, we find mention of a 
property called Ballybricken belonging to D. Connor, Esq., and 
on page 329 we have this paragraph, **Brickeen Island, t.e., 
Bric-in, the place of small trout, lies between Dinis and Mucross." 
Our piscatory friends, we have no doubt, will adopt the Irish 
gentleman 8 Bricin, and contend that Dinis is just Dun, and 
Mucross, Monroe or Montrose, and that Brechin derives its name 
from the par in the South Esk. 

Amidst these contending authorities, we think ourselves 
warranted, if not indeed bound, to oflFer a theory of our 
own. Brechin lies on the banks of the Esk, where that river 
is confined between the high grounds of BurghUl on the south 
and the high grounds of Brechin on the north and west- 
To the east the land on each side of the river presents a gradual 


elope or fall with some excellent carse ground close on the banks 
of the river. Looking from Brechin down the Esk towards 
Montrose, the observer has before him a beautiful little strath 
or valley, of which the high grounds of Brechin are the head or 
western end Brecon in Wales is, we have been informed, 
similarly situated at the head of the vale of the Usk after it is 
joined by the river Hondey. Most readers are aware that Usk, 
Uisk, Uisge, and Esk signify the same thing in Graelic, namely, 
water. Every person, we think, must be struck by the fact of 
two towns so remote from each other, and yet approximating so 
near in name, being so similarly situated as are Brecon in Wales, 
at the head and on the sloping banks of a valley through which 
runs the river Usk, and Brechin in Scotland, at the head of a 
strath through which runs the river Esk, and on the side oi a 
brae sloping towards it. Now we find that in Gkielic Bruach 
Abhainne means the bank or brink of a river, and hence we are 
inclined to infer comes the words Bruchaine, Brechin, and Brecon. 
We state this not on our own authority, but on that of an old 
friend and shopmate — a true-bom Gael, and a person of educa- 
tion, having been intended for The Church, In the parish of 
Livingston and county of Linlithgow there is a small river called 
the Breich, with sloping banks, which would go still further to 
confirm this theory of the origin of the name of Brechin. Mr 
Andrew Jervise, in his able work the " Memorials of Angus and 
Meams," published in 1861, says, in a note on page 129, — " The 
Graelic Braigh-chein signifies a Hilly Brae, and is quite descrip- 
tive of the situation of the town of Brechin." 

Some of our readers may be inclined to cry with the love-sick 
Juliet, ''What 's in a name ? " but if these will take the trouble to 
read the ingenious '' Laquiry into the Origin of the word Bre- 
chin,*' furnished us years ago by a learned friend, and which is 
subjoined in the Appendix, they will find that there is much in a 
name ; uid if they are not instructed, we think they will be amused 
by the speculation to which the name Brechin has given rise. 

The town of Brechin was burned by the Danes in 1012, during 
the reign of Malcolm IL Of course no traces of this conflagra- 
tion now exist, and little is known of the mischief then done 
except the simple fact that the town was burned by the Danes. 


But a natural inference arises that the place was then of some 
consequence, otherwise the Danes would not have wasted their 
time and attention upon it. In this view, it may not be unin- 
teresting to remark on the circumstances which led to this early 
conflagration of the burgh. Sueno, son of Harold king of Den- 
mark, being banished from home, came to Scotland, where, 
having become, or pretended to become, a convert to Christian- 
ity, he received a few forces, with which he returned and re- 
gained his kingdom. Reinstated in power, Sueno immediately 
invaded England; and because his old friends and allies the 
Scots opposed this invasion, he sent Olave and Enick, two of his 
generals, with a powerful army into Scotland. After various 
battles, in which sometimes the Scots, sometimes the Danes, were 
victorious, Enick was slain, and Olave with the remainder of his 
troops was driven into Morayshire. Upon the news being carried 
to Sueno in England, he despatched a reinforcement under the 
command of Camus, who landed his troops at the Bedhead, and 
pitched his camp at Panbride or St Bride. There he was at- 
tacked and defeated by the Scots. The Danes then attempted 
to retreat in three divisions to join their friends under Olave in 
Moray. One division under Camus was cut off, and he and all 
his followers were destroyed near the village of Carnoustie, where 
an obelisk still serves to preserve the memory of this victory, 
called Camiston Cross ; and where the traces of a camp may yet 
be seen on the side of a bum, by some called a Boman camp, by 
others a Danish camp, but popularly styled " Norway Dikes." 
Another division of the defeated army retreated by Brechin, and 
in their progress northward burned that town, but they too were 
attacked and cut off, and the "standing stones," as they are 
called, in the parish of Aberlemno, are supposed to record this 
event, and to mark the grave of the general who led this second 
division. The third division, again, which had retreated to their 
ships, landed on the coast of Buchan, where they also were de- 
stroyed by Moman, Thane of the county. Sueno, not disheart- 
ened by his repeated calamities, sent his son Canute with a new 
army into Scotland, who, after fighting a severe battle in Buchan, 
concluded a treaty with Malcolm, the conditions of which were 
that the Danes should leave Scotland, and that neither of the 


nations should make war on the other, or give assistance to the 
enemies of the other, during the lives of Malcohn or Sueno. 
One most important result seems to have attended this joontest. 
Upon its conclusion, Malcolm divided all the royal lands amongst 
his nobles, and established various new titles of nobility, — 
'' magis ad vanam ambitionem quam ad ullum usum/' Buchanan 

This digression may be pardoned, because slight as the con- 
nexion of Brechin is with this Danish invasion, it is an import- 
ant era in early history. Perhaps it is only continuing the 
digression to add, that Malcolm, as alleged, was afterwards mur- 
dered in the castle of Glammis, in consequence of his avarice 
and unjust exactions from the nobles he had created, and that 
the murderers flying, during a snow-storm under night, became 
bewildered and were lost in the loch of Forfar, the ice on which 
broke beneath the weight of their horses. In the castle of 
Glammis, the room where Malcolm was murdered is still shown, 
and the attention of the visitor is regularly called to the stains 
of blood on the floor, although, if we mistake not, when Malcolm 
died, the tree was not planted out of which the boards thiis 
stained are made, nor was the castle built for three hundred 
years afterwards. 

Tradition also points out Brechin and its vicinity as the site 
of the contest between the Bomans under Agricola, and the 
Caledonians under Galgacus. The South Esk, which passes 
Brechin, is said to have been the ^sica of the Bomans, upon 
which they had a station, mentioned in the Itinerary of Bichard of 
Cirencester as being in the province of Yespasiana, twenty-three 
miles distant from the Tay. In the parish of Oathlaw there are 
the remains of a Boman camp at Battledikes, on the side of the 
river Esk, supposed to have been the principal station alluded to 
by Bichard of Cirencester ; and at Keithock, near Brechin, there 
were, some fifty years 'ago, the remains of another camp supposed 
to have been connected with the former. In the woods of Slate- 
ford are still to be seen marks of what are supposed to have been 
a Boman camp ; and on the farm of Eastertown of Dunlappy, 
immediately adjoining Slateford, a Boman sword was dug out of 
a moss in 1838 ; while near the railway station there were found 


in 1853 two bronze swords and scabbards, now in the Antiquarian 
Museum of Edinburgh, and marked E 137, 138 in the catalogue 
of the museum, which are exactly identical with those described 
by Dr Daniel Wilson, in page 228 of his ** Prehistoric Annals of 
Scotland." Indeed some of oiu- friends are clearly of opinion that 
the battle between Agricola and Galgacus must have been 
fought on the sloping ground immediately south of the two hills 
of Caterthun. We are told by a popular rhyme that 

" Between the Rillivair and the Buckler Stane 
There lies mony a bluidy bane ;" 

or, as another edition of the same rhyme has it, 

" 'Tween the Blawart Lap, and the Rillivair Stanes, 
There lie mony bluidy banes ; " 

and as the " KQlivair Stane " is on the farm of Barrel well, and 
the " Blawart Lap " on the farm of Langhaugh, something more 
than half a mile north, and both are opposite the western hill of 
Caterthun, our antiquarian friends presume that the principal 
struggle had taken place at these points, where the Bomans, 
being defeated, had been driven eastward on their camps at 
Keithock and Slateford, from which they retreated to the 
Meams. The " Killivair Stane " is a plain upright stone, with- 
out any trace of the hands of a mason having touched it, exactly 
similar to those used in Druidical structures ; and most pro- 
bably the stone is the remains of a Druidical temple, at which 
place, it may naturally enough be concluded, the onset of the Scots 
had begun. The " Buckler Stane" is said to have been a large 
broad stone lyiug in the muir on the farm of Jjanghaugh, near the 
Blawart Lap, about half a mile east by north of the KUlivair 
stone, but removed by the farmer of Langhaugh when the 
groimd was improved some forty years ago. Other antiqua- 
rians would have all these traiditions and monuments to apply to 
the Danish expeditions just noticed. On a subject like this, 
which Monkbarns has left undetermined, and which has divided 
antiquarians for ages, it would be presumptuous for us to hazard 
an opinion. 

Our friends possibly may think we have bestowed too much 
time on these ancient matters ; but we canuot imagine we have 


done 80 when we find our researches so far behind those of David 
Mitchell, Esq., A.M., who, in his History of Montrose, published in 
1866, states (page 95) that, " In the year 156 b.c. the mariners 
of Montrose were a daring set of savages, who in their prows 
put to sea, and robbed the Fife shore. They lived on shore in 
rather a primitive state, — just dug a hole and shoved in. Only 
think of a family or tribe lying on the ground to rest all night I 
Brechin at this period was the hunting ground of the ancient 
Celtic marauders"!! The learned author does not quote his 
authority, and we own we have been unable to discover it . 



Hitherto we have been dealing chiefly with romance and con- 
jecture, and little that we have said is absolutely certain, except 
that Brechin was the seat of a bishop in the reign of David I. 
previous to 1153. Perhaps the world might have moved on in 
its usual course although this important fact had not been so 
distinctly established as it certainly is. Connected thus early 
and thus closely with the Church, Brechin seems to have derived 
its chief importance and support, for long after, from the same 
source. We have made up a list of the bishops of Brechin, and 
have collated the list with various histories and other documents ; 
but as it is a record chiefly of dates and names, we think it 
better to throw it into a section by itself, than to interrupt the 
flow of events by discussions here on the subject of the succes- 
sion of these dignitaries, and accordingly it wUl be found in our 
Appendix, No. II. 

Amongst the earliest grants to the Church of Brechin extant, 
is a charter, without date, but believed to have been given about 
the year 1222, granted by Randolph ^' de Strathphetham," sup- 
posed to be equivalent with Stracban, of the lands of Brectulach, 
understood to be Brachtullo in the parish of Kirkden, ''pro 
anima mea et animabus omnium antece«sorum meorum." The 
chapel of " Messyndew," still so pronounced, but now written 
Maisondieu, was founded by '' Willelmus de Brechine, Alius Do- 
mini Henrici de Brechine filij Comitis David," that is, by William 
of Brechin, the son of Lord Henry of Brechin, who was the son 
of Earl David ; hence the chapel was founded by Sir William of 
Brechin, grandson of David Earl of Huntingdon and Garioch, 



Lord of Brechin and Inverbervie, and brother of King William 
the Lion. The charter, which is witnessed by Albin, who was 
Bishop of Brechin from 1247 to 1269, is understood to have 
been granted about 1256. By it William de Brechin gave the 
mills of Brechin and other lands to God and the Chapel of the 
Virgin Mary, by him founded, and to the master and chapter 
and poor of the same, and that, as the charter bears, for prayers 
for the safety or good estate of William and Alexander, kings 
of Scotland ; " Dominis Johannis Comitis Cestrie ; *' of Lord 
Henry his father, and Lady Juliana his mother; and of his 
own soul; and of the souls of all his predecessors and successors 
and of all the dead in the faith ; a sufficiently long but not un- 
common catalogue in those days of parties to be remembered in 
prayer. In 1267, William again gives a fight of a road to his 
favourite chapel, and the charter says the grant is made to God 
and the blessed Virgin, " et Domui Dei de Breehine." A pre- 
cept of sasine of Easter Dalgety in the charter-poom of Kin- 
naird, granted in 1549, is thus styled on the back, — " Factum 
per Dominum Wuillielmum £!arn^e de Messindew, Hoberto de 
Kennaird," while in the body of the .deed Mr Camegy is styled 
" Preceptor Domus Dei sive Hospitalis dive Virginis Marie infra 
Civitatem Brechinensem ; " thus showing the identity of the 
hospital of the Virgin Mary and the preceptory of Maisondieu. 
William de Brechin was one of the regency favourable to Eng- 
land appointed during the minority of Alexander IIL, as men- 
tioned in Bymer, Foedera, i. 563. Bobert L seems to have been 
a great friend to the church of Brechin. In 1308 he prohibits 
the people of Forfar from interfering with the bishop and canons 
of Brechin ; and two years .after, by a charter dated at Brechin 
4th December, in the fourth year of his reign, he relieves the 
church of Brechin of all secular services. The same King 
Bobert, by a charter dated at Scone, 10th July 1322, in the 
sixteenth year of his xeign, gave to John, Bishop of Brechin, and 
to the chaplain and canons of Hoq cathedral church of the Holy 
Trinity of Brechin, the privilege of having a market within the 
city on Sundays, the same as had been formerly conferred upon 
them by the former kings of Scotland, .and as had been possessed 
by them in the time of Alexander " of good memory," his pre- 



decessor ; and to that effect Robert commanded all justiciaries, 
sheriffs, provosts, and their bailies to defend the bishop therein. 
This John was of the family of Kinnymond of Fife, and appears 
to have been a decided friend of King Robert Bruce; for in 
1309, he is one of the bishops who solemnly under their seals 
recognise Robert's title to the throne of Scotland. The revenues 
of the see at this time were £416, equal to £2000 at least of the 
present day. Bishop William, who was in the see previous to 
John, was a man of a different stamp, for he was one of the few 
Scots clergy who, in 1290, addressed Edward I. of England, 
entreating that monarch to marry his son to Margaret, "the 
Maiden of Norway," heiress of the crown of Scotland. It is 
comfortable to reflect, however, that if at this period there was 
a servile bishop, William, of whom little more is known than 
the circumstance just noted, there was also one generous spirit 
connected with the burgh, the noble and independent Sir Thomas 
Maule, governor of Brechin Castle, whose name is immortalised 
by the check he gave to the troops of Edward, and by his gal- 
lant defence of the castle for three weeks in 1303. Against this 
castle Edward brought a then famous engine of attack called the 
War Wolf, which discharged stones of two or three hundred- 
weight. Sir Thomas Maule is reported to have stood on the 
walls of Brechin Castle wiping away with his handkerchief, in 
derision of the besiegers, the rubbish caused by the War Wolf, 
till the engine swept him away. Tradition has it that Sir 
Thomas was slain on the bastion still existing at the south-east 
comer of the castle wall, and that the stone which killed him 
was thrown from the high ground to the east of the ravine run- 
ning between the castle and the town of Brechin. Some years 
ago, when the earth was tirred from the garden on the top of 
the bank alluded to, a skull was found buried, having a nail in 
it, supposed to have been one of Edward's soldiers, killed by 
some instrument fired from Brechin Castle — ^for gunpowder was 
partially in use by this time. Perhaps it is to Edward's invasion 
of Scotland that we are to attribute the want of documents con- 
nected with the earlier history of Brechin, and the necessity for 
King Robert renewing the right of market ; for Buchanan tells 
us, so inveterate was Edward s hatred to Scotland, that when 


he returned to England after this invasion, " historias, foedera, 
monumentaque vetusta, sive a Bomanis relieta, sive a Scotis 
erecta, destruenda curavit ; libros omnes, literarumque doctores, 
in Angliam transtulit" Edward is said to have come to Brechin 
on the 6th, and to have obtained from Baliol the surrender of the 
Scottish crown and kingdom at Brechin on the 10th July 1296, 
in a veiy humiliating manner, in the castle of Brechin, where the 
Great Seal of Scotland was broken to pieces. Sir David de 
Brechin, nephew of King Robert the Bruce, an accomplished 
knight, and who had signalised himself in the Holy War, suf- 
fered the punishment of treason in 1320, in consequence of 
having joined William de Soulis and others in a treasonable 
conspiracy against King Bobert. Sir David appears to have 
long tampered with King Edward I. of England, and to have 
been opposed through life to Bruce's pretensions, although often 
receiving pardon and favour from the king his uncle. Tet on 
10th March 1354. King David, son of Bobert Bruce, grants to 
" Alexander de Berkeley et Catarine sorori mee spouse sue," the 
lands of Wester Mathers, by a charter quoted in the Miscellany 
of the Spalding Olub, vol. v. p. 248; thus^ showing the recon* 
ciliation of the families of Bruce and Berkeley. 

The induction of Bishop Adam into the see of Brechin in 
1328 displays the grasping spirit of the Church of Borne. There 
is a bull by Pope John, dated 31st Oct. of that year, printed by 
Mr Chalmers in his Begister, vol. ii. p. 389, apparently confirm- 
ing Bishop Adam in the see, but* ia reality claiming the right 
to nominate the bishop, and the same Pope by subsequent docu- 
ments claims the same right in regard to the canons. Pope 
Clement VI., following up the tactics of Pope John, by a 
bull dated 20th Feb. 1350, states that he had reserved for his 
own disposal the provision to the church of Brechin on the de- 
cease of Bishop Adam, but that in ignorance of this reservation 
the chapter had unanimously elected Philip, dean of the church, 
to be bishop ; and that Philip, in like ignorance, had consented 
to the election, but on being informed of the reservation had 
come to Borne and explained the matter, and therefore tiie Pope 
had of 9i«u; appointed him to the office. Previously, in 1320, 
Bobert Bruce, in a Parliament held at Arbroath, had asserted 


the freedom of Scotland in opposition to the claims of Popedom. 
Theiner, in his "Vetera Monumenta Hiberaorum et Scotorum," 
gives, p. 306, a bull by Pope Innocent VI., in 1354, dispensing 
with the objection to the marriage of John Mongombry and 
Elen More because they were cousins ; and p. 312, another bull 
by the same Pope dispensing with a similar objection to the 
marriage of David de Berclay and Elizabeth Countess of Fife, 
both bulls being addressed to the Bisliop of Brechin. 

The privilege of market renewed by Robert L was confirmed 
by David II., who, on 26th October 1359, was pleased to grant 
a charter stating that " for the fear and reverence of Gk)d, by 
whom kings reign and princes govern," and in respect of the 
troubles and dissensions throughout the kingdom, by which the 
monuments of the church had been lost, therefore he confirmed 
to the cathedral church of Brechin the whole privileges formerly 
granted by his ancestors, and especially by his father, to the 
cathedral church of the Holy Trinity of Brechin. The bishop 
of this period was Patrick de Leuchars in Fife, a favourite at 
court, and one of those who took an active part in the redemp- 
tion of David f uom the English- Still the right of market, thus 
guaranteed by repeated royal grants, seems to have been dis- 
puted from some quarter or other — by Montrose, we believe, 
for we find "Ane Inchibitioun for balding off mercats of 
StapiUluind at Brechine and Fordoune" to the prejudice 
of Montrose, issued by King David II. in 1352. However, 
there is a "cognition" taken regarding the Brechin market in 
1364 by Walter de Biggar, chamberlain of Scotland, John de 
Rossy, John Lamby, David de Foulertoun, John de Allardice, 
and other gentlemen; and thereafter we find David, in 1369, 
giving a new charter to Bishop Patrick, stating that the whole 
merchants inhabiting the city of Brechin had free ingress and 
egress to the waters of Southesk and Tay for carrying of their 
merchandise in boats and ships, upon paying duties accustomed, 
and that notwithstanding of any grants to the burgesses of Dun- 
dee and Montrose, who are stricUy prohibited from troubling the 
merchants of Brechin. This grant was confirmed by Robert II. 
in 1372; and the same prince, in 1374, addressed a precept 
to his justiciaries, sheriffs, and provosts, charging them to de- 


fend the Bishop of Brechin and the canons of the cathedral 
church of Brechin in all their lands and privileges. James II., 
by a charter dated in September 14&1, again renews at great 
length the rights of trade granted to Brechin; but Dundee, 
alarmed at the growing importance of Brechin, enters a protest 
against this and the previous charters, "purchased of false 
suggestion by information of partial persons/' as a document 
quoted by Mr Chalmers provea 

The earls of Crawford were great benefactors to the church of 
Brechin in the fifteenth century ; and some CTants or charters 
.«, ,*m p«e„ed h.™g fl»^ of «,« A attach^, ta- 
pressed in a bold and handsome style. The members of the 
family of Dun appear also to have been zealous supporters of 
the cathedral. The church having acquired right to the lands 
of Eaglesjohn for payment of certain quit rents to Sir John 
Erskine of Dun, that knight, in 1409, mortified these rents to 
the bishop, from reverence to the Holy Trinity, and from the 
more secular feeling of affection to Walter,, then bishop of 
Brechin. The lands thus conveyed to the church in 1409 
are at present called Langleypark and Broomley, the latter 
now again belonging to the laird of Dun. The Duke of 
Albany, while governor of Scotland inr 1410, granted a pre- 
cept to Alexander Ogilvy of Ouchterhouse, Sheriff of Forfar, 
for examining into the marches of certain lands belonging to 
the bishop ; and thereupon the sheriff gives a decree in favour of 
the bishop addressed "tyll all yat yir letters heirs and seis," 
" gretyng in God aye lestand," and stating that " Walter, throu 
Goddis sufferance Bischope of Brechin, fand ane borch in om* 
hand as schref,'' which the lairds of Kinnaird " recontret.*' 
There is still extant amongst the papers of the burgh a curious 
precept by James I., in 1427, by which, for the growth of grace, 
and various other ostensible reasons, he grants different sums to 
the cathedral, payable out of his annual rents of the city of 
Brechin ; and amongst the individuals from whose lands these 
sums are payable, we find the names of William White, Bichard 
Lindesay, possessor of the " Forkit Akir," David Garden, John 
Durward, LaurenceSmith, John Guthrie, proprietorof certain lands 
between the two vennels; John Tindall, James Myres, James 


Potter, John Saddler, and John Walker, names still common in 
Brechin. But the chief friend to the church of Brechin at this 
early period, was Sir Walter Stewart, Knight, Palatine of 
Stratheam, Earl of Athole and Caithness, and Lord of Brechin 
and Cortachy, which latter title and property he assumed, to- 
gether with the lands of Brechin and Navar, &c., on marrying 
the heiress, Margaret, only child of Barclay, Lord of Brechin. 
On 22d October 1429, by charter dated " apud Castrum nostrum 
de Brechyn," he gifted £40 Scots, payable annually, to the 
church from his lands of Cortachy, and failing thereof through 
war, poverty, or other cause, from his lands and lordship of 
Brechin, for the maintenance of two chaplains and six boys to 
perform divine service within the choir of the church. He also 
in the same month bestowed the patronage of the church of 
Cortachy on the cathedral ; and, further, he gave a piece of land 
lying on the west side of the city of Brechin, adjoining to the 
Vennel, for the residence of the boys and chaplains. Li these 
grants, and in a relative obligation by the bishop, there are long 
directions about the clothing of the boys, and in regard to 
their education and demeanour. In particular, the lads are 
prohibited from going to the fields without one of the chaplains, 
and they are ordered, on these occasions, to be clothed in open 
coats, purple or white, and to have their hair neatly dressed. 
In regard to the chaplains, again, it is provided that one of 
them shall be instructed in music and the other in grammar, 
which branches of education they are to study in the hours 
when they are free from spiritual duties. It is curious to 
find the bishop, so early as 1435, backing out of his part of the 
obligation, and upon various pretences reducing the two chaplains 
to one, and of course reducing the duties to be performed ; and 
the duties thus reduced seem to have been but indifferently 
attended to, for, in 1524, there is a decree of the bishop of that 
period deciding various differences which had arisen between 
the chaplains and the chapter of the cathedral for non-per- 
formance of duties. It is no less curious to remark, that Walter, 
Earl of Athole, who made these liberal grants to the cathedral 
of Brechin, was the son of Robert II. by Euphemia, daughter 
of Hugh, Earl of Boss, and was suspected, from a desire to 


ascend the throne, of having been the means of procuring the 
deaths of most of his own relations. Ultimately, he was 
himself put to death by lingering tortures protracted for three 
days, in consequence of being the. principal instigator of the 
murder of his nephew, the courtly James I. 

The bishop who was so particular about the exterior and 
interior of the heads of the chaplains and of the boys, was a 
John Camoth, a gentleman and a courtier, for he was selected 
to accompany Margaret, daughter of James I., to France, 
when she was espoused to the Dauphin, afterwards Louis XI, 
In the chronicle of the reign of James II. kept at Auchinleck, 
there is an entry bearing that John Crenohy Bishop of Brechin, 
died there in August 1456, '* that was callit a gude, actif , and 
vertuis man, and all his tyme wele gouvemande." Apparently 
this bishop had gone more than once to France, for amongst 
the records of Brechin there is an instrument bearing that Bishop 
John, in a synod held on 14th April 1434, narrated that in his 
hst voyage from France, probably a stormy one, he had vowed 
to give to the church of Brechin two silver candlesticks, in 
acquittance of which vow he then delivered to John Liall the 
treasurer of the church six silver cups, gilt on the edges, and 
also a silver gilt cup with cover, the cover having the rays of the 
sun engraved upon it, this last cup to be for the exclusive use of 
the dean and canons at their common festivals. Judging from 
the documents left, we would say that there was more business 
done during the reign of this bishop than during that of any 
other bishop. He it was who, in July 1450, obtained an inquisi- 
tion by which it was ascertained that the inhabitants of Brechin 
had a right of market on Sundays, and liberty of trading between 
the waters of Southesk and Tay. Amongst a variety of other 
grants obtained by this bishop to the church, we may notice that 
by Alexander Cramond, laird of South Melgund and Aldbar, of 
an annual rent of £26, 8s. Scots, payable from a tenement called 
Lammyslande ; a similar grant by John Sievwright, citizen of 
Brechin, and a conveyance to the cathedral by Robert Hill of a 
tenement lying near to that of John Tod, and an acre of arable 
land in the Croifts adjoining the land of Patrick Guthrie and 
John Masson. We may also refer to a charter by Mr Thoma3 


Bell, vicar of the parish church of Montrose, of some projwrty 
in Murray Street of Montrose, witnessed on 20th June 1431 
by Patrick Barclay, then provost of Montrose, and John Niddry, 
bailie, names still to be found amongst the municipal rulers of 
that burgh. 

Besides acquiring property for the church, bishop Camoth 
seems to have acquired property for himself. Thus on 13th 
February 1444, David Conan conveys to the bishop the Temple- 
hill of Keithock, to be held of the master of the hospital of St 
John of Jerusalem, for payment of a yearly feu at two terms, 
Pentecost and St John in summer ; and this property is ratified 
to the bishop in 1450 by brother Henry de Livingston, a knight 
of the order of St John of Jerusalem, commendator of the pre- 
ceptory of the same, and " Magister de Torfechyn." If we mis- 
take not, these lands are now known as the Templehill of Bothers, 
and form i)art of the estate of Caimbank. 

A dispute appears to have arisen during this bishop's reign 
which may afford evidence for fixing the period when either the 
steeple or the roimd tower of Brechin was erected. Mr David 
Ogilvy, rector of the parish church of Lethnot, having failed to 
pay a sum of 28 merks, said to have been due from the income 
of the church of Lethnot to the bishop and chapter of Brechin, 
was repeatedly cited to appear before the consistorial court He 
treated the summonses very lightly, and neglected to appear ; 
but a court was held by Robert Wyschart, rector of Cuykstoun, 
in the diocese of St Andrews, as substitute of the bishop, at 
Brechin, on the 9th of February 1435, when, after the examina- 
tion of a variety of witnesses named, it is recorded as having 
been proved that Lethnot was liable in 28 merks annually to 
the church of Brechin ; and that in part payment of this debt, 
Henry de Lechton, vicar of Lethnot, had delivered to Patrick, 
Bishop of Brechin, (1354-^84,) a large white horse, and had also 
given a cart to lead stones for the building of the belfry of the 
church of Brechin in the time of Bishop Patrick, and which cart 
was made by Elisha Wright, then residing at Finhaven. These 
are the words of the decree : — " Quarto, Ponit et probare intendit 
quod quondam nobilis vir Henricus de Lechton arrendator dicte 
ecclesie pater Johannis de Lychton soluit et cum effectu realiter 


deliberauit reuerendo patri domino Patricio episcopo BrechinenBi 
et capitiilo eiusdem unum magnum equnm album in partem solu- 
tionis dicte pensionis. Quinto, Quod idem Henricus de Lecliton 
ad ducendum lapides ad edificationem campanilis eoclesie Brechi- 
nensis tempore quondam domini Patricii episcopi Brechinensis 
realiter et cum effectu dedit unum currum quem fecit Elisius 
Wrycht tunc commorans apud Fynnewyn super le bank de 
Lymyny in partem solutionis dicte pensionis." — B. E. B., vol 
i. page 74. 

During Bishop Camoth's reign, and on 28th May 1445, King 
James II. gave to John Smyth, citizen of Brechin, the hermitage 
of the Chapel of the Blessed Mary in the forest of Kilgerre, 
lying in the barony of Menmure, with three acres of arable 
land which had formerly belonged heritably to Hugh Cuminche. 
This hermitage is understood to have been somewhere on the 
south face of the hill of Caterthun, and the prayers which the 
hermit was bound to offer for the king and the other duties of 
the office likely had not been severe. 

Bishop Carnoth himself seems to have been a builder, but to 
what extent we cannot say, only we find, in 1579, a grant by the 
then bishop of a piece of ground '* tending along by the wall 
and street onward to the gate of the tower called Camoclcs 
Tower," being, as the document leads us to infer, the gate or 
entry now called the Bishop's Close, on the west side of the High 

The reign of this bishop, good and worthy as he is reported, 
appears to have been rather stormy, for, in 1439, we have an 
instrument bearing that Mr Thomas Lang, chaplain of the choir, 
protested against the bishop's bailie for having given possession 
to William Foote of a tenement on the west side of the High 
Street, belonging to the chaplains, and asked if, by securing the 
tenement and putting out the fires thereof, he could interrupt the 
possession ; and upon these threats he takes instruments in pre- 
sence of Alexander Fotheringham, John Forrest, Walter de 
Craig, and a variety of others. Again, there is a protest in 1439 
by the bishop against certain convocations alleged to have been 
improperly held in his absence, in one of which it is said the 
chaplain had been removed from the prebend's stall in the 


church of Lethnot, and a boy put into the chaplain's place. 
There are also a variety of dociunents bearing upon a claim 
which this bishop had, or pretended to have, upon the lands of 
Marytown, occupied by William Fullarton. In this dispute, 
Janet Ogilvy, widow of Fullarton, just does as the bishop bids 
her; but her son Patrick takes a different course. While in 
August 1448 the bishop is engaged in a dispute with his dean 
and archdeacon about taxes that ought to have been recovered 
from the canons for repairs of the choir. 

Besides being thus actively engaged, Bishop Camoth procured 
transumpts or authentic copies of all the royal grants in favour 
of the town and cathedral, and obtained ratifications of them by 
James II., on 1st September 1451, a most important document 
for the burgh. Indeed, the only thing this active man left 
doubtful is his own surname, which is variously spelled Camock, 
Crenok, Carnoth, Crennach, Crannoch, and Crenuch, now com- 
monly said to be equivalent with the surname of Charteris. 
But the history of the incumbency of this bishop would be in- 
complete did we not notice that, during his reign, the boundaries 
of the muir of Brechin were first ascertained. By the bishop's 
influence, James II. was induced to direct a precept to the 
sheriff of Forfarshire for the purpose of ascertaining the marches 
between the lands of Menmuir, belonging to John de CoUace, 
and those belonging to the church. The sheriff accordingly 
chose an assize, consisting of Sir John Scrymgeour, constable of 
Dundee, Richard Lovell of Ballumby, William Lyell of Balna- 
gerro, Patrick Rind and James Rind of Carse, Robert Fuler- 
toun, Henry Fethy of Balyesok, John Camegy of that Ilk, 
Walter Carnegy of Guthere, William Guthere of Lownan, 
Walter Camegy of Kynnarde, David Walterstoun of that Ilk, 
and Thomas Lamby ; and this inquest report, on 13th October 
1450, that the town's property began at the east at Threip- 
haughford in Cruik, extended towards the west, according to 
the ancient course of the water of Cruik, by the lands of " Bal- 
zordy/' and went as far west as the lands belonging to John de 
CoUess of Balnamoon went The inquest also state that they 
had caused make a large ditch as a fence between the lands of 
Balyeordie and of the burgh, and that right upon the water of 


Cruik they had placed a cross with a large stone under it as a 
march. John Collace, however, does not seem to have tamely 
submitted to this marching of the lands, for, in May 1451, we 
have an instrument bearing that John, Bishop of Brechin, and 
Walter de Ogilvy, SheriflF of Forfar, compeared upon the water 
of Cruock at the Threiphaughford, and protested for remeid of 
law in consequence of the march stones having been removed 
from the situations in which they were placed, and thrown into 
the water. And in 1458 there is a precept by James II. directed 
to the Sheriff of Forfar charging him to command Thome of 
Cullaiss to abstain from annoying the community of Brechin in 
the possession of the lands decreed to them by the perambula- 
tioa This document directs the sheriff to "summonde and 
charge ye foresaid Thomas to compeir before ws and our coun- 
saile at Dundee ye secund day of ye next justice aire of 
Anguss ; " so Dundee had been the site of a circuit court pre- 
vious to the recent Act of Parliament for the holding of courts 
there. Notwithstanding of all this, however, the family of Col- 
lace and the inhabitants of Brechin, as the records of justiciary 
prove, had battlings till the OoUaces sold their lands to Sir Alex- 
ander Camegy, brother of the first earls of Southesk and North- 
esk, in 1632. This Thomas Collace was a favourite at court, 
for on 23d March 1499 he got a charter from James IV. 
confirming to him a right of vert and venison in the forest of 

It was during the Episcopal reign of Bishop Carnoth that the 
battle of Brechin, as it is called, was fought at Huntlyhill, in 
the parish of Stracathro, about three miles north-east of the city. 
The historical reader will recollect that the Earl of Douglas was 
murdered by James II. in Stirling Castle, in February 1452, 
because he refused to break a league which he had formed with 
the earls of Crawford and Boss. In consequence these noblemen 
joined the Douglases in open rebellion to the royal authority. 
Alexander Gordon, Earl of Huntly, was advancing with a body 
of troops consisting of his own vassals, and of the clans Forbes, 
Ogilvy, Leslie, Grant, and Irving, with the intention of joining 
the royal standard, when he was encountered, on 18th May 
1452, at the Hair Cairn, near Caimbank, by the Earl of Craw- 


ford, surnamed " The Tiger," from his fierce temper, and " Earl 
Beardie," from his immense hirsute appendage. Crawford was 
in command of the " bodies of Angus,'* and of the adherents of 
the rebels in the neighbouring counties, headed by foreign 
officers. An engagement ensued, and. the centre of the royal 
army began to give way, when John Coless or Collace of Balna- 
moon, who bearded the bishop about the marches of the muir, 
and who hated Crawford in consequence of some dispute regard- 
ing property, deserted to the royalists with the left wing, which 
he commanded, and which was the best equipped part of the 
troops, being armed with battle-axes, broadswords and spears. 
The royal army being thus enforced, and the rebel party so 
weakened, Huntly, contrary to expectations, gained the victory, 
and gave his name to the hill where the battle was fought. The 
Earl of Crawford retired to his castle at Finhaven, about six 
miles west of Brechin, and is reported to have declared, in the 
frenzy of disgrace, that he would willingly pass seven years in 
hell to obtain the glory which fell that day to his antagonist, or 
as tradition has it, " that he wad be content to hang seven years 
in hell by the breers o' the ee " — the eyelashes. After his defeat 
Crawford turned his vengeance from the royalists towards those 
who had deserted him, wasting their lands and burning their 
castles, and he was left at liberty to do so, as Huntly was ob- 
liged, immediately after the battle, to return home to protect 
his own lands from the ravages of the Earl of Moray. In 1562, 
we notice that David Fenton of Ogill sold to Kobert Collace of 
Balnamoon, and Elizabeth Bruce his spouse, the lands of Findoury , 
which lands they transferred in 1574 to Eobert Arbuthnott. Bal- 
namoon and Findoury are once again united under one worthy 
proprietor in the person of James Camegy Arbuthnott, Esq. In 
March 1625, we find John Collace, fiar of Balnamoon, witness- 
ing a charter by David Kamsay, younger of Balmain, to John 
Moncur of Slains, of the lands of Cossins and others in the 
barony of Mondynes and parish of Fordoun, while between that 
date and the period of the battle of Brechin, the name of Col- 
lace occurs frequently in connexion with properties in the town 
and neighbourhood of Brechin, but of the traitor John Collace 
himself we have no further notice. Of Crawford, again, we aer 


told by Buchanan tiiat soon after the battle of Brechin he took 
the opportunity of the king passing through Angus to submit 
himself to the royal authority, and to make his peace with King 
James, to whom he remained firmly attached for the remainder 
of his life, which was of but short duration, for he died in 1453. 
The succeeding Lord, David Earl of Crawford, seems to have 
been a man anxious to be on good terms with the church, for, 
in the year 1472, he burdened his lands of Drumcaim, " lying 
in his lordship of Glenesk," with £3 annually to the cathedral of 

The stormy reign of James 11. did not prevent peculation in 
the church: at least a precept by James III. in 1463, states 
plainly that through the profligacy of the bishops and canons of 
Brechin, the revenues of the cathedral had been greatly reduced 
by frequent alienations of its property, so that it was then 
suffering under great deficiency of its resources, and therefore 
his Majesty exhorts the bishop (then Patrick Graham, cousin 
of the king) to revoke the whole of such alienations as were 
made without just cause, and his Majesty orders all judges to 
assist the bishop in the recovery of the property, whether lands, 
movable goods, or effects. This precept was not allowed to 
remain a dead letter. In 1464 a decree of the Lords of Council 
and Session was issued, decerning Walter Dempster of Ochter- 
less to reconvey to the church the lands of Ardoch, Adicate, 
Bothers, and Nether Pitforthie, alleged to have been surrepti- 
tiously obtained by him ; and Dempster, in 1468, implements 
the decree by resigning the lands to the bishop " upon his bended 
knees, and having his haiitds closed and within those of the 
bishop." Other documents import that Mr Dempster, being 
reconciled to mother church, got back his lands for payment of 
an annual feu to the cathedral. The family to which this 
gentleman belonged took their surname from the fact of having 
been appoints by Bobert II. to the office of heritable Dempsters 
to the Parliaments, or readers of the doom or sentence pro- 
nounced against criminals in the courts of the kingdom. Patrick 
Qraham was afterwards translated from Brechin to St Andrews, 
and died archbishop in 1479 — a prisoner in the castle of Loch- 
leven, broken-hearted by court intrigues, although a man of 


strict morals and considerable learning. Previous to his removal 
from Brechin, however, he had the influence to obtain from 
King James III. a charter, dated at Linlithgow 29th June 
1466, changing the weekly market day from Sunday to Monday, 
and of new conferring upon the bailies and citizens of Brechin 
all their former privileges. The same monarch, shortly before 
his decease in 1488, granted a charter in favour of the bailies 
and community of the city of Brechin, by which, in respect of 
the income of the city being small, and of the faithful services 
of their predecessors rendered to the king in times of trouble, 
he gives and confirms to them the right of levying for every 
horse-load of goods brought to the town, "unum oblum," or 
obolus, which originally was a small Athenian coin of silver 
weighing about twelve grains, worth three halfpence at the 
ordinary price of silver in the present day, but in the fifteenth 
century of much more value, and the charter authorises the 
magistrates to employ one or more officers to collect the tax. 
This charter was produced by the town clerk as a witness before 
the House of Peers in 1853 in the case regarding the original 
dukedom of Montrose, and is, with the clerk's evidence, printed 
in the folio volume published by Lord Lindsay on that case, 
(page 404-6 ;) the charter is also printed by Mr Chalmers in 
his "Registrum Episcopatus Brechinensis," vol. ii. page 122. 
' We thus refer particularly to the charter as it is a most im- 
portant one for the burgh. 

James Stewart, second son of James III., was at his birth 
created Duke of Ross, Marquis of Ormond, Earl of Edirdale, 
and provided with the lands and lordships of Brechin, Navar, 
Ardmanach, and Nithsdale. In 1497 he was made archbishop 
of St Andrews. With Brechin he appears to have had no con- 
nexion further than in drawing revenue from it. 

The register of the burgh of Aberdeen gives the taxation laid 
on the burghs beyond the Forth by the commissioners of the 
burghs in the Parliament held at Edinburgh in 1483, when we 
find the Angus burghs rated thus : — " Dundee, £26, ISs. 4d. ; 
Forfar, £1, 6s. 8d. ; Montrose, £5, 68. 8d. ; Arbroath, £2 ; 
Breching. £4." Aberdeen is then rated the same as Dundee. 

The year 1481 was one of those years of so frequent occui rence 


in the fifteenth century, when poverty perished, and even riches 
scarce supported itself ; it was a " dear year" — and Brechin, like 
other burghs, sufiered severely. 

We cannot tell whether it was the grant of right of custom 
given by James III., or what it was, that involved our citizens 
of Brechin in a dispute with the burgesses of Montrose, but we 
find, in 1508, that there was a contest between the two towns 
regarding the market, and that the Bishop of Brechin, then 
William Meldrum, granted authority for defending the interests 
of the city of Brechin, and of the church of Brechin, in an action 
raised before the Lords of Council and Session at the instance 
of the aldermen, bailies, and burgesses of Montrose, against the 
citizens of Brechin, for vexations and hindrances alleged to have 
been given to the community of Montrose in their use of the 
market of Brechin. How this dispute terminated, or whether it 
is still in court, we do not know. 

In the charter chest of Viscount Arbuthnot, there is a dis- 
charge by this Bishop Meldrum " of the teind-penny for James 
Arbuthnott's waird and marriage,'' dated the ''penult Maij 
1511 ; " owning receipt of 35 merks, '' gude and usual money of 
Scotland," of composition for what would now, at least, be 
thought a strange demand; and amongst the documents be- 
longing to the burgh of Brechin there is an instrument dated 
in 1508, bearing that John Camegy of Kinnaird had deli- 
vered a horse, " grosij coloris/' as the Herzdd of the late John 
Camegy his father for the lands of Little Carcary, held of the 
Cathedral of Brechin. " Herrezelda" (says Skene, in his " De 
Verborum Significatione ') " is the best aucht ox, kow, or uther 
beast, quhilk ane husbandman possessor of the aucht pairt of 
ane dauacb of land, (four oxen gang,) dwelland and deceasand 
theirupon, hes in his possession the time of his decease, quhilk 
oucht and suld be given to his landislord or maister of the said 
land." Probably this language of Sir John Skene of 1681, our 
readers may think requires interpretation itself. The substance 
of all this however is, that Bishop Meldrum looked carefully 
after all the property belonging to the see of Brechin, and indeed 
added considerably to it. 

Lord Gray preserves in his charter-room a document, which 


is a curious specimen of the numerous hereditary offices that 
existed in feudal times, being a retour of the service of Alexander 
Lindsay, as heir of his father Richard Lindsay, in the office of 
blacksmith of the lordship of Brechin ; it is dated 29th April 
1514, and is published in the Miscellany of the Spalding Club 
for 1853. By it the inquest selected from the barons of the 
shire report on oath that the late Richard and his forefathers 
were common smiths of the lordship of Brechin, and received 
hereditarily nine firlots of good meal of every plough and mill 
of the tenants of Balnabriech, Kintrocket, Pitpullocks, Pitten- 
dreich, Hauch of Brechin, Burghill, Pettintoscall, Balbirnie, 
with the mill of the same, Kincraig, and Leuchland ; and one 
fleece of an old sheep yearly of every one of the tenants of the 
said towns ; and also common pasturage in the Long Haugh of 
Brechin for two cows and a horse. No bad berth this of the 
blacksmith of the barony of Brechin. We trace the office 
further down. On 5th October 1605, in the Speciales Inquisitiones 
for Forfarshire, published by order of Parliament, there is re- 
corded the service of David Lindsay, as heir of Robert Lindsay, 
in the office of common blacksmith of the lordship of Brechin, 
and his right as such to two bolls one firlot of meal, and pastur- 
age, like his predecessor, with the fleece of a sheep and a lamb, 
as his payment for making wool scissors, we suppose, or '* tonsules 
lanie " as they are called here ; while in the previous retour they 
are termed '*forcinij." The Richard Lindsay first mentioned 
is, we presume, the proprietor of the Forkit Akir of which we 
spoke under the date of 1427, and which is understood to have 
been a part of the lands now known as the Latch. The name 
of Lindsay, as a blacksmith, occurs for the last time in the 
records of the hammermen trade of Brechin in the year 1616. 

John Hepburn, who succeeded to the see of Brechin about 
1517, seems, in reference to the property of the burgh, to have 
pursued the course of Bishop Camoth. In 1524 he gives out a 
long decree finding that the chaplains of the chaplaincy founded 
by the Palatine of Stratheam were neglecting their duty, and 
ordaining them to build and repair, and to provide proper 
vestments, and he gets this decree confirmed by a charter 
granted by James V. in 1528. On 25th May 1535, Hepburn 


procured a cognition by the sheriffs-depute of Forfarshire, James 
Gray and David Anderson, regarding the common muir, so full 
and particular, that we shall take leave to lay it before our 
readers. This cognition states that '4ii the matter and cause 
pursued by a reverend Fader (father) in God, John, Bishop of 
Brechin, the dean, chapter, and citizens of the same, by our 
sovereign lord's letters direct to my lord sheriff of Forfar and 
his deputes, purporting in effect that where they iiave the muir 
of Brechin with the pertinents pertaining to them in oonmaonty 
and their predecessors, and they have been in possession thereof 
as common past memory of man, whilk now, lately, William 
Dempster of Careston, Janet Ochterlony, his mother, George 
Falconer, her spouse, William Marshall, David Deuchar, David 
Waterstone, portioner of the lands of Waterstone, Matthew 
Dempster, and James Fenton of Ogil, has stopped the said 
reverend father, dean, chapter, and citizens of Brechin in cast- 
ing of peats, turfs,. and fiiel upon the said commonty, and to pull 
heather thereupon, and has riven out, tilled, and sawn a pai*t 
thereof, and built houses upon another part'Of the same, tending 
to appropriate the said conmion muir to them wrongously, and 
to call both the said parties, and take cognition in the said 
matter upon the ground of ^he said lands, as in our sovereign 
lord's letters, direct to my lord sheriff and his deputes foresaid, 
at more length is contained. By virtue of the which David 
Lokky, one of the Mairs general of the said sheriffdom, by the 
sheriff principal's precept direct to him thereupon, charged and 
required the said reverend father, dean, and chapter, and citizens 
of Brechin, followers on the one pai*t, and the said William 
Dempster, Janet Ochterlony, -George Falconer, William Marshall, 
David Deuchar, David Waterstone, Matthew Dempster, and 
James Fenton of Ogil, -defenders, on the other part, to compear 
before my lord sheriff foresaid or his deputes, one or more, to 
this said court, day, time, and place in the hour of cause to hear 
and see a cognition to be taken in the said matter, and justice 
equally ministered to both the said parties, after the tenor of our 
sovereign lord's letters foresaid. At the which day, and in the 
said court, the said sheriffs-deputes caused call the saids parties, 

followers, and defenders, to compear before them the said day 



and place, to hear and see a cognition taken in the said matter, 
as they that were lawfully summoned thereto. Both the said 
parties compearing personally, their rights, reasons, allegations 
being proponed and shown, together with the depositions of 
diverse famous witnesses produced and admitted, and sworn in 
presence of parties foresaid, and their depositions, the said 
sheriflfs-deputes being ripely advised therewith, finds and 
declares, by cognition taken in the said cause, that the said 
reverend father, dean, chapter, and citizens of Brechin, and their 
predecessors, has been in peaceable possession of their muir of 
Brechin foresaid, with their pertinents pertaining to them, in 
commonty in time bygone, past memory of man, bounded on 
all the parts about as follows — Ist^ Beginning at the gallows of 
Keithock at the east; from that west to the Muirfauld dyke, 
and from that Muirfauld dyke to the Bog dyke, and from the 
Bog dyke, extending west to the Park dyke, at the south, ex- 
tending west to the south side of Montboy, the Myre of Montboy 
there along, and from thence extending west to the gallows of 
Feam ; and from the gallows of Fearn, east at the north part 
to the Qualochty, and from thence east to the gallows of Kethock 
foresaid; and decemeth the bounds before expressed: The 
whole muir to be commonty to the said reverend father, dean, 
chapter, and citizens of Brechin : And anent certain lands and 
houses that are called Todd's houses, and lands lying within 
the bounds betwixt the gallows of Feam and the gallows of 
Keithock, pertaining to James Fenton of Ogil, pertaining to 
the lands of Feam, which has been occupied these twenty years 
bygone, without impediment of Brechin, but bruikit (enjoyed by) 
them peaceably, as it is clearly proved before the said sheriffs- 
deputes; therefore the said sheriffs-deputes excepts that lands 
and houses in this their process, nought (nothing) hurting the pro- 
perty of the superior, nor yet the commonty of the same lands 
and occupiers thereof, but Bn chin to have commonty over all the 
muir ; and the said reverend father, dean, chapter, and citizens 
of Brechin, shall be kept and defended in such like possession of 
the said muir as said is, in time coming, ay and while they be 
lawfully called and orderly put therefrom ; and also finds, because 
the said muir is found that it has been used and holden as 


common in times bygone past memory of man, therefore the 
said sheriff should cause it to be held common such like in time 
coming, according to justice, after the tenor, form, and effect of 
our sovereign lord's letters foresaid, and doom given thereupon ; 
and precepts decerned hereupon, according to justice." We have 
modernised the spelling and phraseology a littla The cognition 
thus formally taken was ratified by the precept of Lord Gray, 
sheriff of Forfar, in a court held by him at Forfar, within two 
days after the perambulation of the muir by his deputes. On 
the back of the original cognition, which is an excellent specimen 
of the writing of the sixteenth century, we find this docquet 
engrossed, "23d January 1769, registered by Mr David Rae, 
conform to the probative act, and presented by Charles Guthrie, 
writer in Edinburgh, to whom the same is returned without 
receipt, G. 0." 

Hepburn, who took the trouble of thus fixing the boundaries 
of the common muir, was descended of the powerful family of 
Bothwell, and is reputed to have been a man of great abilities. 
He died in August 1558, and Keith says that Listacus de rebtts 
gestia Scotorum gives the prelate a very large character. But 
if he was, as we conceive he was, the John Hepburn who was 
abbot of St Andrews in 1513, and who competed with Andrew 
Foreman for the Archbishopric of that see, after the death of 
Alexander Stewart at the battle of Flodden, then he scarce de- 
serves the very large character here spoken of; for, if Buchanan 
is to be believed, Hepburn was a factious plotter, a greedy, am- 
bitious, and intolerant priest, and the cause of much trouble dur- 
ing the regency of the Duke of Albany. The documents still in 
existence in Brechin prove that he was an active and an intelli- 
gent man. As to his moral character, these documents afford no 
information. In 1543, during the minority of Queen Mary, and 
in the first parliament held after her father's death, an Act was 
passed ordaining that '^ it shall be lawful to all our sovereign 
lady's lieges to have the Holy Writ, viz., the New Testament 
and the Old, in the vulgar tongue," — an enactment that sounds 
strange in our ears, more especially when it is added, *' they 
shall incur no crime for the having and reading of the same." 
The Archbishop of St Andrews, Cliancellor of the kingdom, 


entered a protest against this enactment, " for himself, and in 
name and behalf of all the prelates of this realm present in Par- 
liament," including the then Bishop of Brechia Hepburn is 
the last Roman Catholic bishop who has left any documents con- 
nected with the town ; for although after his death, and previ- 
ous to the Reformation, there was one, and some authorities will 
have it two, bishops in the see of Brechin, namely, Donald Camp- 
bell and John Sinclair, there are no writings in existence in Brechin 
connected with the Episcopal reign of either of these gentlemen. 
It is curious enough to observe that the last document by a 
bishop of the Church of Rome, remaining amongst the records of 
Brechin, is a charter granted by Bishop Hepburn at request of 
Sir John Erskine of Dun, the great reformer of the Church, then 
the patron of the chaplainry of the Virgin Mary, in the church 
of Brechin, founded by his progenitor. Sir Robert Erskine of 
Dun, whereby the bishop, in consequence of the incomes of the 
two chaplains being insufficient for their support, unites the two 
chaplainries into one, and appropriates the income for the sup- 
port of one chaplain only. This charter, bearing date 18th and 
27th June 1556, is signed by Erskine, in token of his consent to 
the arrangement, and completed at Famell, which then belonged 
to the bishops of Brechin as a grange or eoimtry residence. The 
chaplainries being thus united, " Joannes Dominus de Erskyn *' 
appoints Nicolas Thomson to the office of chaplain. 

Campbell and Sinclair just alluded to, although they have 
left no traces of their reigns in the records of Brechin, appear 
both to have been men of considerable eminence. Campbell, 
who was of the family of Argyle, but whose induction into 
the see of Brechin is doubtful, died invested in the office of 
Lord Privy Seal to Queen Mary in 1562. Sinclair was the 
fourth son of Sir Oliver Sinclair of Roslin, and younger brother 
of Henry Sinclair, Bishop of Ross, and had the honour, while 
dean of Restalrig, to join Queen Mary in matrimony to Lord 
Darnley. Bishop Sinclair was first an Ordinary Lord of Ses- 
sion ; and afterwards, on the death of his brother Henry, pre- 
sident of that court, he was promoted to that important office. 
By the constitution of the Court of Session at that period, seven 
of the members behoved to be laymen, and seven clergymen, be- 


sides the Lord President, who was also required to be a church- 
man. Sir Thomas Erskine, Lord Brechin, proprietor of the 
lordship of Brechin and Navar,. was one of the lords of Ses- 
sion in 1533. He was secretaiy to James Y., and was uncle of, 
and tutor to, John Erskine of Dun the famous reformer, men- 
tioned above. Li 1584, parochial clergymen were declared in- 
capable of exercising any office in the College of Justice, that 
their minds might not be diverted from their proper functions ; 
and Cromwell, with that strong spirit of common sense which 
was exhibited in. most of his measures, by act in 1650, debarred 
aU clergymen, without distinction, from sitting on the judicial 
bench of the Court of Session. After the Reformation of 1560, 
several parsons and rectors were lords of Council and Session, 
but John Sinclair, Bishop of Brechin, was the last churchman 
who was president of that court 

The records of Brechin are altogether sil&nt on^ the events 
which occurred in the burgh when Bomanism was abolished and 
Protestantism established, and neither tradition nor general his- 
tory gives any information on the subject. We therefore infer 
that this change in the religion of the state had created little 
disturbance in. the city of Brechin. 

We have mentioned previously that Brechin was regularly 
assessed along with the other royal burghs for the maintenance 
of royalty, and in 1525 contributed £56, 5s. towards the ex- 
penses of 'King James Y. in France. In the division of the 
money granted for the defence of the Barders about the same 
period, Brechin paid £45. During Mary's minority the Lord 
Governor, in 1550, desired a sum to purchase peace with the 
emperor, and Brechin gave 40 crowns. In 1556, Mary got a 
donation fix>m the burghs, and Brechin contributed £11, 5s. ; and 
towards the expenses of her marriage with the Dauphin of 
France in 1557, the burgh gave £168, 15s. ; while in 1563, 
this small city contributed £32, 13s. lid. in part of the expense 
of an ambassador to Denmark. But it is perhaps more worthy 
of remark, that of the extent of £4144 odds, levied from the 
burghs in 1556 to. defray the expenses incurred by Gkiwin, com- 
mendator of Kilwinning, and James Maxwell, "burgess of 
Bowane, for the down getting of the xvj deniers of ilk frank 


wairing of giiids coft be Scotts merchants in Rowane and Diep 
by the four deniers payd by them," Brechin is assessed in 
£36, lis. 3d. These extracts are taken from the records of the 
Town Council of Edinburgh, preserved in the Advocates* Library, 
Edinburgh. The records of Convention in March 1575, show 
Brechin to have been then assessed in £55 towards defraying 
the expense of sending men to Flanders "for tryell of falis 
cunzie." The records of the Town Council of Aberdeen in 1483, 
give the tax-roll of the burghs north of the Forth, as modified 
by the Convention of Burghs, in which Brechin is put down for 
£4, and Montrose for £5, 6s. 8d., so Brechin must have been a 
place of some trade long previous to the accession of James VI. 
But this chapter would be incomplete, did we not mention 
that, ill 1503, the courtly James IV. appears to have visited 
Brechin on some of his missions of peace amongst his trouble- 
some subjects. The books of the Lord High Treasurer, pre- 
served in the General Register House, bear that there were paid 
" the XV day of October, in Brechin, to the foure Italien men- 
strals, and the more tanbroner to thar hors met, xlb. vs." James 
seems to have been on his way north at this time, for on the 1 1th 
October there is an entry of a payment of 14s. "to Mylson 
Harper in Scone ; " and immediately after the Brechin entry 
there is this entry, " Item, that samyn nijcht in Dunnottar to the 
cheld playit on the monocords be the king's command, xviij s." 
The fondness of James for music and mirth is matter still of 
popular tradition, as well as of authentic history, and on this his 
journey north he seems to have gratified his taste to the full. It 
will not be forgotten that it was in consequence of the marriage 
of James with Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII., in the 
August of this year, that the Stuarts came to the throne of 
England, and through them the Guelphs, the present reigning 



We come now to treat of a period whicli produced changes on 
every burgh in Scotland, but more especially on those burghs 
which were the seats of Episcopal dignitaries, we mean the Re- 
formation in 1560. The Earl of Argyle, who was then the most 
popular and most potent nobleman in Scotland, had the influ- 
ence to introduce into the see of Brechin Alexander Campbell, 
a son of the family of Ardkinglass, who, at the period of his in- 
duction in 1566, appears to have been a mere youth ; for we 
find that, the year after his induction, he got liberty from 
Queen Mary to go abroad for his education ; and in the Book of 
Assumptions of 28th January 1573-4, it is noticed that he was 
then at Geneva at the schools. As there are no documents with 
Campbell's name existing in Brechin from 1569 to 1579, we are 
inclined to suppose that he had been abroad between these 
periods ; and we adopt this opinion the more readily, because 
we find that, although his licence to go abroad for seven years 
was granted in 1567, he was present with Regent Moray in the 
convention at Perth in July 1569. During the absence of the 
bishop for the period alluded to, David, archdean of Brechin, 
commendator of Dryburgh, managed the temporalities, of the 
bishoprick of Brechin. Alexander Campbell , as we have said, was 
inducted into the see in 1566, and he died bishop of Brechin in 
1610, so that he filled the Episcopal chairfor forty-four years, from 
which circumstance, independent of other authorities, it might 
fairly be inferred that he was not a very old man when he was 
elevated to the dignity of a bishop. But the most remarkable 
circumstance connected with this gentleman, was the terms of 


the grant in his favour of the bishoprick. By this document 
Campbell was empowered to sell, for his own benefit, all the re- 
venues and properties belonging to the see then vacant, or when 
they should become vacant. Of this power the young bishop 
availed himself, or was obliged to avail himself, by making 
large grants to his patron the Earl of Argyle, who was not with- 
out strong temporal reasons for supporting the Reformation. 
At the period of Campbeirs accession, the see of Brechin was 
possessed of a revenue of £410 in money, 11 bolls of wheat, 01 
chalder 5 bolls of here, 123 chalder 3 bolls meal, 15 bolls of 
oats, 11 and a half dozen of capons, 16 dozen and ten poultry, 
18 geese, and 9 barrels of salmon annually. But although 
Argyle swept off the greater part of these good things, Bishop 
Campbell made some grants and sales for his own especial 
benefit. Thus, immediately on his accession, he dispones the 
Little Mill of Brechin, with the acre of land and other rights 
thereto pertaining, to William Kinloch, burgess of Dundee, and 
Janet Xindsay his wife, in liferent, and to Alexander Kamsay in 
fee, and that for payment of a price o£ £30, and an annual feu 
of 3s. 4d. The property thus sold passed from Ramsay to 
William Fullarton of Ardo, who transferred it to the town of 
Brechin in 1605 ; and by that corporation the Little Mill was 
converted into a waulkmillin 1693, and afterwards disannulled, 
the Muckle Mill having swallowed up the duties and properties 
of the Little Mill. However, if this^was then the practice of the 
Chm'ch, it is but justice to say that there were also many grants 
made by the Crown of Church property for the promotion of 
education at this time. Thus in 1575, according to the records 
of the Privy Seal, printed by Mr Chalmers, the teinds of Bonny- 
ton, not exceeding £20, which had previously belonged to the 
canons of the Cathedral, are given. to James Small, son of George 
Small, saddler in Edinburgh, who ** being puire, fathirless, and 
destitut of all support o£ parentis or frendis, is of convenient 
aige to entir in the studie of grammer, and apt and disposit 
thairfore, and promist to be subject to discipline," and the master 
of the Grammar School of Edinburgh is ordered to receive 
Small imder his charge for seven years, and thereafter to report 
that another may be appointed to the scholai'ship ; and we ob- 



serve, accordingly, that this grant was renewed in 1581 for 
other seven years, after which these teinds were gifted for a 
similar purpose to Henry Sinclair, son of the deceased Henry 
Sinclair, writer. A similar gift is made in 1576 of the emolu- 
ments of Kilmoir to James Cokbume " brother -german to 
Johnne Cokburne of Clerkingtoun," who might have been father- 
less, but certainly had not been poor. There are many other 
grants of a similar kind, but we shall only further notice that of 
the teinds of Middle Drums in 1577 to " Mr John Nicolsoun, 
who has been brought up at the schools since his youth, and has 
completed his course of philosophy, and intends to pass beyond 
sea for his further e&ercise in good learning, so that he may 
retm-n again a more profitable member to serve in this common- 

The family of Erskine appear now, as at other times, to have 
got their share of Church property; thus, James Erskine, 
vicar of Falkirk, on 14th March 1685, obtained a grant for his 
life of all the annual rents which had been bestowed on the ofii- 
cials "for celebrating of messis, singing and saying of dirigie, 
and doing of utheris ryteis, ceremonies, and papisticall services, 
whilk now be the Word of Gk)d, and laws of his Hienes realm, 
'are damnit and altuterlie abolischit/' and for which grant Mr 
Erskine was to pay yearly to the collector of the alms for the 
poor within the city £6, 13s. 4d. Scots. And John Erskine of 
Dun, for his " lang, emest, and faithful travellis," " in the sup- 
pressing of superstitioun, papistrie, and idolatrie, and avance- 
ment and propagatioun of the evangell of Christ Jesus, the tyme 
of the reformatioun of the religion, and in ydnt and faithful per- 
suerance in the samin," has a grant for his lifetime, on 5th Nov- 
ember 1587, of various sums from the abbeys of Arbroath and 
Cowper, from Jedburgh and Eestennet, the bishoprick of Brechin, 
and other places ; and this grant is renewed in 1589 to John 
Erskine of Logy, grandson of Dun, for the lifetime of Logy. 

Bishop Campbell married an Helen Clepan or Clephan, and 
of course was the first bishop of Brechin who had a lawful wife. 
George Wishart of Diymine, by a charter dated at Findowrie 
23d March 1 583, conveys to Mr and Mrs Campbell that estate, so 
they appear to have trafficked in Church lands to some account. 


James VI., after the Act of Annexation of the bishops' tem- 
poralities to the Crown, granted those of Brechin to Campbell in 
1688 for his lifetime, for payment of 40 merks Scots to the 
Crown ; and this grant seems to have been renewed and ratified 
in Parliament in 1597, for Campbell makes his right good 
against the King's collector-general by a Decree of Council and 
Session, dated 1st Feb. 1603. 

The example of spoliation set by the highest dignitary of the 
church of Brechin was quickly followed by the smaller powers. 
The archdean sold his mansion ; the presbyters constituted by 
the Palatine of Strathearn disposed of their house; the chancellor 
conveyed away his manse, and every one was more active than 
another in converting the property of the church to his own 
private use. It is amusing to notice the various pretexts fallen 
upon by these churchmen for this general spoliation. The 
bishop found that the piece of ground from nearly opposite the 
tolbooth to the present Bishop s Close had, for many years, been 
a receptacle of filth and nuisance, so that not only the citizens of 
Brechin had contracted disease and infirmity thereby, but the 
bishop himself had not been able to walk in his own garden in 
safety by reason thereof, and therefore, being anxious to remove 
this nuisance, (so the charter bears,) the bishop and chapter sold 
the property to James Graham. The archdean, again, dis- 
covered that his mansion was in a ruinous state, and having of 
purpose to build a new one in lieu thereof, he sold the old, with 
the houses and yards pertaining thereto, for a certain sum of 
money, to Mr Thomas Bamsay, commissary of Brechin. The 
chancellor, in like manner, conveyed a piece of toaste ground 
upon yA\ic\i formei'ly stood his manse, with the garden thereof, 
to Mr Paul Fraser : and the presbyters of Strathearn found that 
part of their residence and habitation was in a like dangerous 
and decayed situation, and that there was no cure but a sale. 
These and other similar grants are all ratified by James VI. ; 
and thus a great part of the property belonging to the church of 
Brechin passed to lay hands. If we are to believe the reformed 
clergy of this era, the manses, houses, and hospitals of the 
Roman Catholics had been contrived to last only during the 
continuance of the papistical dominion ; for, at the period alluded 


to, the buildings are all found ruinous, while the lands, formerly 
so fair, are declared to be pieces of mere waste ground. But 
there is one redeeming fact connected with this exhibition of 
worldly-mindedness — not, however, emanating from churchmen, 
but again from the Crown. James VI., by a charter dated at 
Lcith, 20th June 1572, and granted with consent of John Earl 
of Morton, regent, instituted the hospital of Brechin. The charter 
narrates that His Majesty, in consideration of the duty incum* 
bent upon him to provide for the comfort of the poor, the lame, 
and the miserable, orphans and destitute persons, grants that 
there be an hospital founded within the city of Brechin, into 
which persons of the above description shall be admitted and 
properly accommodated ; and because of there having been di- 
verse annual rents within the city, which, in former times of 
ignorance, were mortified to presbyters and chaplains for the 
pei-formance of masses and anniversaries, therefore the king ap- 
propriates these annual rents to the more useful purpose of sup- 
porting the poor in an hospital, and appoints the bailies, council, 
and community of the city of Brechin, and their successors, to 
be patrons of the hospital, and ordains that all the lands and 
annual rents appropriated for papistical purposes, shall pertain 
to the bailies, council, and community for support of the hospital. 
The chanter's manse, a house in the Lower Wynd — now called 
Church Street — was bought for an hospital in 1608; and in 
1688> there is a minute of council strictly prohibiting any person 
from receiving any benefit from the hospital except they " keep 
the house and wear the habit ; " but what that habit was we 
have not been able to discover. This injunction seems soon to 
have fallen into abeyance, for, in 1689, we find a minute of 
council dispensing with the pensioners living in the hospital, 
there called the Bede House, upon account that it was then 
neither wind nor water-tight, but continuing to them their pen- 
sions notwithstanding. The revenues thus gifted by King James 
have always been applied by the town council of Brechip for the 
maintenance of poor people within the town; in 1864 they 
amounted to £51, 5s., besides £66 obtained for entries from 
vassals; and twenty-two pensioners had £51, 10s. divided 
amongst them ; the proi>erty being estimated at £1456. The 


gift was ratified by James upon his attaining majority in July 
1587. The original grant in 1572 is witnessed by " Mr George 
Buchanan, pensioner of Corsragwell," then keeper of the Privy 
Seal, the celebrated historian, and the tutor of James VI. 

The Hammermen Incorporation are possessed of a thick octavo 
volume, which contains the minutes or scroll minutes of the 
Bailie Court of Brechin for 1579-80. The subsequent part of 
the book is fiilled up with the minutes of the incorporation, some 
of which indeed, of a comparatively late date, 1770, are inter- 
mixed with those of the acts of the bailies. The only explana- 
tion of the matter is that the Messrs Spense of those periods 
were, at the same time, the town clerks and trades' clerks, and 
that paper being then an expensive article, the book which had 
ceased to be used for the Bailie Court was found handy for the 
hammermen trade when it was constituted into a corporation in 
1600. Be that as it may, the book is anterior to any in posses- 
sion of the town council, and contains some entries worth ex- 
tracting, as indicating the state of society and the price of articles 
towards the close of the sixteenth century. Thus several parties 
are punished for using unlawful measures ; breaches of the peace 
are as numerous as at present, and ofienders are punished by 
fines just as in the present day. John Button is ordained to pay 
Eichard Thomson 30s. for the hire of a mare for seven days ; 
David Watson claims £3 of Thomas Liddle for his fee for three 
half-years' service ; decrees are given for the prices of malt at 
5 merks and 6 merks, and at £3 the boll ; for 13s. 4d. aj9 the 
price of a hide ; for 188. and 40 pence for 100 calf skins and a 
dozen of kid skins ; for 30 pence for a leg of mutton ; and for £4 
as the price of 4 ells of gray cloth. One decree is against John 
Thomson for 40s. resting of £8 due James Watt for sybees, 
that grew in his yard — rather a large quantity of the onion species 1 
John Hamilton and James Strachan apprehended with flesh, 
wool, and other property in their possession, are banished the 
town, and if foimd therein afterwards are to be hanged without 
process ; and William Skinner, for stealing leather meets with 
a similar sentence. But the bailies are not always so blood- 
thirsty; for in the action at the instance of Thomas Bellie, 
cutler, against Gleorge Meldrum, a burgess of Crail, they postpone 


giving sentence for a month, in hopes of the parties agreeing. 
Query, Had the magistrates doubted their authority over the 
Crail burgess ? The Muckle Mill and weigh-house are exposed 
for let in a way continued down to a much later period, the 
rouping being from day to day, and the lease for one year only. 
In January 1580, however, the Muckle Mill is agreed to be let for 
100 merks of grassum, and £50 of yearly rent, for nineteen years, 
to defray the great expenses incurred at law and by taxation ; 
but this plan having failed, the mill is let in May for one year, 
and part of the profit ordered to be given towards building a 
school; and Alexander Knox then becomes tenant at 103 merks. 
Mr Andrew Leitch, in Nov. 1580, — ^who, we believe, was the 
schoolmaster of the period, — agrees to serve the council for 40 
merks yearly, notwithstanding of their first agreement for 50 
merks, and that during their pleasure — not a very comfortable 
position for a man of letters. About the same time the bailies 
appoint William Thornton, procurator in Dundee, to be their 
procurator before the sheriff of Forfar, and grant him a yearly 
salary of £5 to attend to their lawsuits. In the same year John 
Schewen, baker, is admitted freeman, paying 20s. for "spice 
and wine as accords ; " and in subsequent minutes it is ordered 
that no unfreeman bake within burgh, and that no baker, al- 
though a freeman, shall bake any bread under the size formerly 
directed, while a committee is appointed for proving the butcher 
meat. In May 1580 the bishop and council order a contribu- 
tion of 100 merks to be applied for the repairs of the tolbooth, 
and 80 merks for the repair of the church ; but an obstreperous 
councillor, David Dempster, in a few days after, has the hardi- 
hood to enter a protest against the order for the repair of the 
church, to the no small annoyance, no doubt, of Bishop Alex- 
ander Campbell. But the mighty affair seems to have been in 
June 1580, when the great man of the time, and the principal 
proprietor in the neighbourhood, John Earl of Mar, Lord of 
Glarioch and Erskine, and proprietor of the lordship of Brechin 
and Navar, makes his appearance. On 4th March 1579, the 
whole inhabitants had been ordered to meet in the churchyard 
in array of war by six o'clock next morning, to proceed with the 
bailies in affairs of the city; but in June 1580 aU actions. 


civil and criminal, are put off for some days ; all persons named 
in a list are ordained to compear well mounted, and in their 
best apparel, on two hours' warning, to meet the King's Grace, 
w^hile the Earl of Mar and his servant Thomas Windygates are 
made burgesses. The order for the assemblage of the citizens 
is on 21st June ; the admission of the Earl of Mar, and the ad- 
journment of the Bailie Court, are on 28th June ; so we infer 
his King 8 Grace, the sapient James VI. of Scotland and I. of 
England, had been in Brechin on that day, although we have no 
record of the event 

Disputes and battling amongst the noblemen were frequent 
during the unhappy reign of the beautiful, the learned, the un- 
fortunate, the ill-treated, but we fear the highly culpable, Queen 
Mary ; and raids in the neighbourhood of Brechin, involving 
the peace of that and other burghs, too frequently occurred. 
The burgh records of Arbroath have this entry under date 
"4th March 1568-9," (that is, March 1569 according to our 
mode of beginning the year in January) : — " The qlk day, for 
divers causes concerning the common weill and relief of the 
taxation fra the rayd of Breichin, it is concludit and decernit 
be the bayleis and counsall that the haill common gress be 
devydit and partit, and set to every man, puir and rich, that 
plesses to tak part of it : " and again in June 1572, " Thir per- 
sons are chosyng to ride with my lord, (the abbot, we presume,) 
to the raid of Breichin— John Akman, James Pekyman, Wm. 
Bardy, Andro Dunlop, James Kamsay, Nyniane Halis ; and all 
the rest of the honest men of the town oblisit tham to ryid thair 
tym about when requirit, or ony of the said persons war chargit 
thereto in time to coma" There is in the register of the Privy 
Seal a remission to John Cockbum, citizen of Brechin, of the 
crime of being art and part with Adam Gordon, brother of 
George Gordon, Earl of Huntly, and others, in seizing, in August 
1570, the "pyramidis" of the steeple of Brechin — the Round 
Tower, we presume — and maintaining it against the peace of the 
king during one of the raids of that unhappy time. 

In 1573 a rencontre took place between the supporters of 
James and the Earl of Morton, then regent, and the friends of 
Queen Mary. This engagement is known by the title of the 


" Board of Brechin," and was fought by the Adam Gk)rdou of 
Auchindown just named, the brother of Lord Huntly, for the 
queen's party, and by the Earl of Brechin for the regent. In 
the previous year Gordon had gained a considerable advantage 
over his opponents at Craibstane in Aberdeenshire, and, embold- 
ened by that victory, he entered Angusshire. The regent's 
party resolved to stop Gordon, and for this purpose they assem- 
bled all the forces of Angus at Brechin. But Gordon, being ap- 
prised of their proceedings, left the si^ of Glenbervie, with 
which he was then engaged, came to Brechin overnight with 
the most courageous of his troops, knocked down the watch, 
surprised the town, fell upon the gallant lords, drove them from 
the city, and took possession of the town and castle of Brechin. 
Next morning, the lords of the king's party, being informed of 
the few troops which Auchindown had with him, collected their 
scattered forces and marched to Brechin to give him battle. 
Gordon courageously met the lords, routed them^ and slew about 
eighty of their troops, but generously dismissed, without ransom 
or exchange, nearly two hundred prisoners, most of them gen- 

Alexander Scott, who wrote in 1562, is said to have been a 
native of Brechin. Of this there may be doubt, but it is prob- 
able he was in some way connected with the burgh, for we have 
heard his poems recited by individuals in the town, who repre- 
sented that they had the verses handed down to them by tradi- 
tion. One of these poems struck us as particularly plaintive. 
It is entitled '* An Address to the Heart," and runs thus : — 


" Return thee hame, my heart, agaiD, 
And byde where ye war wont to be ; 
Thou art ane f ule to Buffer pain 
For luve o' ane that luves no thee. 


My heart, take neither strute nor wae 
For ane, without a better cause; 

But be thou biythe and let her gae, 
For feint a crum o* thee she fa's. 

" Ne'er dunt Again within my breaat. 
Nor let her ellghta thy courage spill, 
She '11 dearly rue her ain beheist, 

Siie *B sairest paid that gctti her will." 


As the close of the sixteenth century is the close of the con- 
nexion of the Popish hierarchy with the cathedral church of 
Brechin, we may here take a hasty glance at the constitution 
of .the chapter, and at the altarages and chaplainries connected 
with the cathedral during the time of Papacy, as stated in the 
documents still existing. The charter by Eobert I., in 1322, 
granting a right of market on Sundays, is addressed to the 
bishop, chaplains, and canons of the cathedral church of the 
Holy Trinity of Brechin. Amongst the old records there is an 
apostolic declaration dated on the Monday of the Holy Trinity 
in 1372, issued by Patrick, Bishop of Brechin, and the canons, 
rectors, vicars, and elders of the diocese, for the purpose of ascer- 
taining the number and quality of the benefices belonging to the 
church, and the dignities, offices, and prebendaries belonging to 
the cathedral. By this writ it is declared that there are eleven 
benefices belonging to the church, four of which have the dignity 
of dean, chanter, chancellor, and treasurer, and the fifth has the 
dignity of archdean, which five benefices are incompatible with 
other offices. Then it is declared that there are six benefices, — 
viz., vicar, pensioner, subdean, Kilmoir, Butergill, and Guthrie, 
all of which are simple prebends, and are compatible with other 
offices ; and it is further stated that although two of these pre- 
bends are commonly called vicar and subdean, yet they have no 
care of souls, nor prerogative of dignity, nor office, nor adminis- 
tration, within or without the cathedral, but only that, as already 
said, they are simple prebends compatible with other offices. 
The witnesses to this letter are described as Fergus de Tulach, 
praecentor; Richard de Monte Alto, chancellor; Matthew de 
Abirbrothoc, treasurer ; Stephen de Cellario, archdean ; William 
de Dalgarnock, vicar ; Radulph Wyld, subdean ; John de Drum, 
prebend of ButergiU ; Thomas de Luchris, prebend of Guthrie ; 
John Wyld, rector of Logic ; John de Gaok, rector of Monzeky ; and 
Alexander Doig, vicar of Dunnychtyne, canons of the church; the 
dean and the pensioner, dwelling at a distance, and the prebend of 
Kilmoir, being only absent. In the park of Burghill, not far from 
the keeper's house, there is a round knoll planted with trees, where 
it is understood the chapel of " ButergiU" stood, and where yet the 
i-emains of humanity may be found, indicating that a graveyard 



had surrounded the chapel, while a well of excellent water near 
at hand proves that the comforts of the living had been provided 
for, and that the mansion of the priest had not been far distant. 
John of Drum, we presume, had his dweUing, if not his church, 
on the farm of West Drums, on the estate of Aldbar, where the 
remains of buildings and enclosures are still to be seen in a 
field called the chapel field. Kilmoir, or the church of St Mary, 
is understood to have been within the policies of Brechin Castle 
— ^not far from the castle itself, and only at a short distance from 
the cathedral. A few years after the date of this famous " de- 
claratio," — ^that is, in 1384, — the church of Lethnot was created 
a prebendary of the cathedral of Brechin, at the request of Sir 
David Lindsay of Glenesk, the patron of the parish of Lethnot ; 
and the prebend of Lethnot was declared a canon of the cathe- 
dral church of Brechin, with a stall in the choir, and a place in 
the chapter. In 1429, we find a decree of the bishop and chapter, 
by which, amongst a variety of other matters, it is again declared 
that there are four dignities in the church, here called the dean, 
praecentor, chancellor, and treasurer, who have the precedence of 
all other canons. In August 1435, the bishop and chapter enter 
into a curious agreement amongst themselves to keep the omar 
ments of the church in suitable eonditian, under the penalty — 
the bishop, as a prebend, of ten merks; the dean, preecentor, 
archdean, the vicar, and the ministers of Lethnot and Olenbervie 
in five merks each, and every other canon in forty shillings. In 
1474, the parish church of Finhaven was, at the request of the 
Earl of Crawford, erected into a prebendary of Brechin, and, 
of course, the clergyman would have a prebend's stall in the 

With the eleven benefices declared in 1372, and the additions 
of Lethnot in 1384, and Glenbervie, as just mentioned, in 1435, 
and Finhaven added in 1474, and of the bishop himself as a 
prebend, claiming we believe to be rector of Brechin, the chapter 
of the cathedral church of Brechin consisted in all of fifteen 

In a charter dated in 1469, there is an allusion to a tenement 
commonly called " Cattiscors," lying at the south ^nd of the city 
of Brechin, on the west side of the road leading to the bridge of 



Brechin, and situate between the lands of John Cockbum and 
the north brow of the brae towards the south gable of the Little 
Mill of Brechin* This Cattiscross had stood somewhere near the 
present South Port, but what description of a cross was eo named 
cannot now be known. 

Connected with the catliedral, there were several chaplainries. 
A writing dated September 1 630, makes mention of the chap- 
lainry of St James the Apostle, and this is the only time we find 
that chaplainry alluded to, except in a grant for life in 1588 to 
David Balfour of the " chaplainry of St Ann, founded at the 
altar of St James within the cathedral kirk of Brechin." " St 
James' land," however, is mentioned in 1491 in the Acta Dom. 
Concilij as being within the city, and in the title-deeds of a 
property lying on the east side of the High Street and south 
side of the BlackbuU Close, the subjects are described as belong- 
ing "to the Chapplenary of the altar of St James, situate 
within the cathedral church of Brechin," This property now 
belongs to Mr Lawson, baker. The chaplainry of St Mary* 
Magdalene undoubtedly belonged to the cathedral of Brechin. 
This chapel was situated on the lands of Arrat, between Mon- 
trose and Brechin, close by the present turnpike road, where a 
burying-ground still exists, known as **Maidlen Chapel." In 
old writings the chaplainry of Mary Magdalene is called some- 
times the Chapel of Arrat, and sometimes the Chapel of Cald- 
hame, from lands adjoining Brechin on the east side of the 
town which belonged to the chapel, and on part of which the rail- 
way station now is, and a new town is fast arising. These 
lands were thirled to the Little Mill of Brechin, and the chap- 
lain was obligated to aid in upholding the mill, cleaning the 
dam, and bringing home the miU-stones. The origin of the 
chapel is unknown, but it was repaired during Bishop Camoth's 
reign, 1429-56, and the revenues were augmented about that 
time by the addition of the revenues of the Holy Cross founded 
by Dempster of Carreston. The chapel, together with the other 
property belonging to the altarage, was gifted by James VI. 
to John Bannatyne in 1587, for his maintenance " at the 
sculeis," and subsequently the emoluments were drawn by the 
Hepbumes and the Livingstones. To the cathedral of Brechin 


also belonged the Maieondieu chapel, situated in the lane run- 
ning west from the Timber-market — now called Market Street — 
the property of which was managed by a person styled " the 
master of the hospital of the Virgin Mary of Maaefndeu'* It 
is said there was a monastery of Bed Friars or Trinitarians in 
Brechin, so designated from part of their garb, but whose cor- 
rect name was Ordo Sanctissimse Trinitatis ad Bedemptionem 
Captivorum, hence sometimes called Trinitarians. The Society 
for Promoting the Fine Arts in Scotland, published in 1848 a 
plate representing Italian peasants entertaining a brother of this 
order. We never could trace out any property which had be- 
longed to such a body, nor is the slight^ allusion made to 
them in any writing that has come under our notice. We 
have, amongst the papers of the town, allusions also to the 
chaplainries ''Nomine Jesu," St John the Evangelist, and St 
Laurence, although probably the different names might have 
been given occasionally to the same chapels. 

The altarages within the cathedral were still more numerous. 
There was the altarage of '' our Lady,'' where mass was ordered 
to be said daily at the second bell in the morning, "at all seasons 
in the year," for the souls of Walter, Palatine of Stratheam, and 
his successors; and to this altarage several properties in the 
vicinity of the present Mill Stairs belonged, as well as certain 
subjects in Montrose, and some property in Dundee. In 1537, 
James Leslie, chaplain of the chaplainiy commonly called 
'' Berclay StaU," grants 13s. 4d. to the chiut^h from his lands 
in the to?m of Brechin, which we presume to be the same as 
the altarage of the Virgin Maiy founded by the Barclays. 
There was also the altar of St Thomas the martyr, founded by 
Sir John Wishart of Pitarrow, Knight, about the year 1442, to 
which certain revenues belonged, payable out of the lands of 
Bedhall, Balfeich and Pittengardner. There was likewise the 
altarage of " the blessed virgin E^atherine," to which a worthy 
citizen, Bobert Hill, in 1453, gave an acre of land at the Crofts, 
and a tenement within the town ; which example is subsequently 
followed by other citizens, no doubt no less worthy in the eyes 
of the church. There was further, the altar of St Christopher 
the martyr, to which a John Smart left certain lands and annual 


rents in 1458. And there was the altarage of St Ninian, to 
which considerable property within the burgh belonged. We 
likewise have mention made of the altiirs of St Nicholas and 
St Sebastian, the martyrs, in 1512, and that of All Saints in 
1537, of which latter Sir Thomas Finlayson was chaplain in 
1547, and which is then described as having been fomided by 
Mr William Meldrum, archdean of Dunkeld, and to have had 
belonging to it, amongst other properties, the land's called 
Scale's Acre, where the Crofts markets were formerly held, now 
the principal sites of Panmnre Street and Clerk Street The 
altarage of the **Holy Cross" is mentioned in 1435, and there 
are allusions likewise to those of St Duthoc, St Magdalene, St 
George, and others incidentally. A piece of ground termed 
'*Kirk Dur Keyis," — Kirk Door Keys, — is described in a 
charter of 1578 as lying between the lands of Unthank and 
Caldhame, on the east side of the road leading to Unthank, 
being, as we understand, the first field of that property on the 
east side of the Toll Road, going northwards from Brechin. 

The records of the burgh contain no reference to the existence 
of the plague in the town about this time, but in the accounts 
of the burgh of Aberdeen we find this entry on 18th August 
1597, " Given to Michael Fergus, poist, for careing of a letter to 
the baillies of Brechin anent the plaig, lib. lOs." 



The year 1600 was the first which was held to be commenced 
ia Scotkud on the Ist day of January. Previously, the year 
was imderstood to begin on 25th March^ or Lady Day. This 
alteration in the style was enf orqed by an Act of the Estates, and 
requires to be kept in view in regard to the precise date of any 
document executed between January and March before 1600. 
The beginning of this century was also remarkable in Scotland 
by the accession of James VI., in 1603, to the crown of England, 
and the consequent transference of the seat of royalty from 
Edinburgh to London, Before leaving Scotland James took a 
personal interest in a trial before the High Court of Justiciary in 
1601, wherein Thomas Bellie, burgess of Brechin, and his son 
were accused of " having and keeping of poison, mixing the same 
with daich or dough, and casting down thereof in Janet Clerk's 
yard in Brechin for the destruction of fowls, by the which poison 
they destroyed to the said Janet two hens/' The accused were 
banished from the kingdom for life, as recorded by Burton in 
his Criminal Trials, — no great pumshment, perhaps, some of 
James' English courtiers thought. This change of the seat of 
government was at first detrimental to Scotland, as it drew off 
the rich nobles to the court in England, where they spent the 
ready money which Scotland so much needed. The change 
was the more felt in consequence c^ the policy adopted by both 
nations, which, although then made one kingdom, so far as the 
title of Great Britain, bestowed by James, could unite them, 
still remained as hostile and distinct in reality as any two 
nations could be, each showing its jealousy of the other by 


enacting that sheep, black cattle, wool, hides, leather, and yam, 
should be prohibited from exportation and reserved by both 
nations for internal consumption. The families of Panmure 
and Southesk seem to have followed the court party at this 
period, and to have added to their titles of honour in conse- 

Patrick Maule of Panmure, who was bom in 1603, was on 3d 
August 1646 created a peer by the title of Earl of Panmiu^, 
Lord Maule of Brechin and Navar. This noble family has 
been long fl,nd closely connected with Brechin ; and, after rank- 
ing five earls in succession, is now represented by the Right 
Hoa Fox, Lord Panmure of Brechin and Navar, the title 
having been renewed to his father the Bight Honourable 
William Bamsay Maule, the representative of the ancient 
family, through a female, by William IV. in September 
1831. Patrick, the first earl, was much attached to Charles I., 
and was present with him at all the battles fought by the king 
during the civU wars. His Lordship died on 22d December 
1661, and was succeeded by his son George, who was an equally 
keen royalist, and was present at the battles of Dunbar, Inver- 
keithing, and Worcester, in 1650 and 1652. George, the third 
earl, succeeded his father in 1671. He was a privy councillor 
to Charles II. and to James VII., and lived till 1686, when he 
was succeeded by his brother James, the fourth earl. This 
nobleman had a very checkered life. He was a privy councillor 
to James VII., but was removed from that oifice in consequence 
of opposing the abrogation of the penal laws against Popery. In 
1689, however, he strenuously supported the cause of James 
VIII., and he was present, with his brother, Harry Maule of 
Kellie, at the battle of Sherifimuir in 1715, having previously 
proclaimed James at the cross of Brechin as King Begnant of 
Great Britain. After this battle he escaped abroad. He was 
then attainted of high treason, and by Act of Parliament de- 
prived of his lands and titles. His honours and estates were, 
however, twice offered him if he would take the oaths to the 
house of Hanover, but he conscientiously declined to do so, and 
died in exile at Paris on 11th April 1723. His brother, Harry 
Maule of Kellie, was a man of a sinjilar stamp, noted for his 


goodness of heart, and marked by all the characteristics of a 
cavalier and high-bred gentleman. The fifth earl was William, 
son of Harry Maule of Kellie. William was bom about the 
year 1700, and was created an Irish peer in 1743 by the title of 
Earl Panmure of Forth and Viscount Maule of Whitechurch. 
He represented the county of Forfar for forty-seven years, 
and was a general in the army in 1770. In 1764, he pur- 
chased the estate of Panmure from the York Buildings Com- 
pany for £49,157, 18s. and 4d., and died in 1782, leaving his 
estates to his nephew, the eighth Earl of Dalhousie, with rever- 
sion to William Bamsay, the second son of Lord Dalhousie, who 
died, universally lamented, on 13th April 1852, having been 
long known as the Honourable William Bamsay Maule, subse- 
quently as the Honourable William Maule, and finally as Lord 
Panmure, and who through life made it his study to patronise 
every plan calculated for the benefit of Brechin. The present 
representative of the family is the Bight Honourable Fox, 
Baron Panmure of Brechin and Navar, and Earl of Dalhousie, 
well known for his energetic services as Secretary at State for 
War during the Crimean contest, as well as his labours in other 
public situations. The late Lord Panmure represented the 
county of Forfar in the successive Parliaments fi-om 1796 to 
1832 ; and the present Earl of Dalhousie sat in Parliament, first 
for the county of Perth in 1835, next for the Elgin burghs in 
1838, thereafter for the town of Perth in 1841, and sat for that 
city till 1852, when he became a peer, having been returned 
by that community for four successive Parliaments, and elected 
in 1846, 1847, and 1852 by the unanimous voice of the electors. 
Lord Dalhousie was created a Knight of the Thistle in 1853, 
and on the fall of Sebastapol in 1860 he had conferred on him 
the honour of Grand Cross of the Bath ; his lordship is Lord 
Lieutenant of Forfarshire, Lord Privy Seal for Scotland, and a 
member of Her Majesty's Privy Council. The family of Pan- 
mure is of French extraction. The progenitor of Maule of 
Panmure came over with William the Conqueror in 1066, and 
from various chartularies and other documents, the genealogy 
of the family can be traced downwards from that date to the 
present time. 


The family of Southesk was also ennobled during the seven- 
teenth century, and took an active part in the eventful affairs of 
that period. The progenitors of this family were anciently 
proprietors of the lands of Balinhard ; but in the reign of David 
II. John de Balinhard obtained a grant of the lands of Carnegie, 
in the barony of Panmure, and from thence he took his sur- 
name. From John descended Duthac de Carnegie, who, in 
1409, by a charter from Robert, Duke of Albany, obtained the 
lands of Kinnaird. He was succeeded by his son Walter, who 
joined the Earl of Huntly, on behalf of James II., against the 
Lindsays at the battle of Brechin, for which he had his Castle 
of Kinnaird burned to the ground by Earl Beardie and his 
followers. John, the grandson of Walter, was slain at the 
battle of Flodden in Northumberland, fought by James IV. in 
1513. This John left a son, Robert Carnegie, who was in 
great favour with Regent Hamilton, and was by him promoted 
to be one of the judges of the Court of Session, then to be am- 
bassador to England, and subsequently to be ambassador to 
France, previously to which last embassy he was knighted. He 
was esteemed an excellent lawyer, and was the author of a work 
on Scots Law, entitled " Liber Carnegij." Sir Robert Carnegie 
died in 1565, leaving by his wife, Margaret Guthrie, six sons 
and seven daughters, and from, some one or other of these sons are 
descended most of the numerous families in Angus-shire bear- 
ing the surname of Carnegie. This Sir Robert Carnegie was 
succeeded by his eldest son John, a great friend to Queen Mary ; 
and John again was succeeded by his brother David, a favourite 
with James VI., who promoted him to be one of the Lords of 
Session, a Privy Councillor, and a Commissioner of the Treasury. 
Sir David left four sons, David, John, Robert, and Alexander. 
David, the eldest son of Sir David, was created Lord Carnegie 
of Kinnaird by King James VI. on 14th April 1616, and Earl 
of Southesk by Charles I. on 22d June 1633. From the other 
sons of Sir David are descended the families of Northesk and 
Balnamoon. David, the first earl, who was buried at Kinnaird 
on 11th March 1658, left four sons, David, James, John, and 
Alexander of Pitarrow, whose son David was created a baronet 
of Nova Scotia in 1663. Earl David was succeeded by his son 


James, who was a Privy Councillor to Charles II. Robert, the 
third earl, succeeded his father in 1669. Before his succession 
he resided for some time in France, and was captain of one of 
the companies of Scots Guards to Louis XIY . He again was suc- 
ceeded by his son Charles in 1 6^8, and upon his decease, James, 
his son, took up the title as fifth Earl of Southesk This James 
was attainted of high treason, being concerned in the rebellion 
of 1715, and having gone abroad, he died at a convent in 
France in 1729. Sir John Carnegie, second baronet of Pitar- 
row, grandson of Sir Alexander, fourth son of Earl David, then 
became head and representative of the family, the other sons of 
the earl having left no male descendants. Sir John was suc- 
ceeded by his son Sir James Carnegie, a man of great abilities, 
who purchased the forfeited Southesk estates from the York 
Buildings Company, and was very active in making like pur- 
chases for other noblemen similarly situated, and who sat in 
Parliament for Kincardineshire for many years. This Sir 
James was succeeded by his son Sir David Carnegie, who for 
some time represented in Parliament the Aberdeen district of 
burghs, then comprising Bervie, Montrose, Arbroath, and 
Brechin, along with Aberdeen. Having left the burghs, he was 
called to sit for the county of Forfar, which he continued to 
represent till his death in 1796. Upon the decease of Sir David 
the title and estates devolved upon his son, the late Sir James 
Carnegie, the fifth baronet of Pitarrow. Thus, Sir Alexander 
Carnegie of Pitarrow (fourth son of Earl David) was succeeded 
by his son Sir David Carnegie of Pitarrow, who again was suc- 
ceeded by his son Sir John Carnegie of Pitarrow, who came to 
be of Southesk, and was followed by his son Sir James Carnegie, 
who was succeeded by Sir David Carnegie, the father of the late 
Sir James, who died in 1849, and was then succeeded by his 
son James. The late Sir James Carnegie began the prosecu- 
tion of the claim to the earldom, which claim was followed out 
by his son. The committee of the House of Lords in July 1855 
found the claim proved ; and the attainder being reversed. Sir 
James Carnegie, sixth baronet of Pitarrow, was restored, with 
the original precedencies, to the dignity and titles of Earl of 
Southesk and Lord Carnegie of Kinnaird and Leuchars, in the 


peerage of Scotland, which had been forfeited by James, the 
fifth earl, in 1716. 

It was in 1600 that the trades of Brechin were first incorpor- 
ated. The seal of cause was issued on 3d October 1600 by 
Robert Kinnear and Robert Rollock, bailies; David Lindsay, 
Thomas Lyall, Thomas Ramsay, Matthew Dempster, David 
Dempster, John Mortoun, Greorge Ferrier, John Leich, Thomas 
Liddel, elder, Alexander Gellie, David Noray, David Camegy, 
and Alexander Clark, councillors; on the petition of David 
Noray, skinner ; Alexander Gellie, cordiner ; John Daw, smith ; 
John Adam, tailor ; Thomas Schewan, baxter ; William Bruce, 
Webster; John Langlands, bonnet-maker; and James Fair- 
weather, flesher ; and these tradesmen state that, notwithstand- 
ing of Brechin being a royal burgh infeft and established with 
right of guildry and deacons of crafts, yet, partly from oversight, 
and partly from want of sufficient numbers of master trades- 
men, the election of deacons of crafts had been pretermitted, to 
the great hurt and decay of the crafts, and also to the prejudice 
of the lieges, by insufficiency of work through lack of trial; 
therefore, these tradesman desire the town council to fortify 
and maintain the crafts in their rights ; and in consequence the 
bailies and council, vnth consent of the ** greatest multitude of 
the conmions convenit," grant the prayer of the petition, and 
ordain that the freemen of the crafts enumerated should yearly, 
twenty days before Michaelmas, choose a deacon from each 
craft, with collector or deacon convener, officers and other mem- 
bers requisite, and that, " in the election of magistrates, the vote 
of the deacons of the crafts shall be sufficient for the haill mem- 
bers." The bonnet-makers and fleshers have long ceased to be 
corporations in Brechin. The bonnet-makers, indeed, do not 
appear ever to have taken up the privileges conceded to them by 
the seal of cause, and the fleshers, although they formed themselves 
into a craft, took no part in municipal matters. The other six 
trades, however, — ^namely, the hammermen, glovers, shoemakers, 
bakers, weavers, and tailors, — ^proceeded, in virtue of this seal 
of cause, to choose deacons from each craft, and the six dea- 
cons annually elected a deacon convener, and the whole subse- 
quently took an active, and often an important part in the muni- 


cipal government of the town. It is interesting to observe that 
the copy of the seal of cause engrossed in the record of the ham- 
mermen trade bears to be signed, " Bot. Bollock, baillie, be the 
clerk, beamse he could not subscribe." The crafts thus incor- 
porated in 1600 were very zealous for the religion and morality 
of their members, as became the craftsmen of an Episcopal city. 
The hammermen, the principal or first in rank of these incor- 
porations, may be taken as an example of the whole trades. 
Immediately on being incorporated they enacted that the whole 
members, with their servants and apprentices, should keep the 
church on the Sabbath and three week days — ^viz., Monday and 
Saturday to the lecture, and Wednesday to the sermon; that 
the masters should have family worship morning and evening ; 
that if any be seen drunk or using unlawful pastime during the 
hours of worship on the Sabbath-day, he should pay a fine to the 
craft, besides the kirk's punishment ; and masters were enjoined 
each to have a whip in his house for punishing his servants and 
apprentices that took the Lord's name in vain. Any apprentice 
who broke the seventh conmiandment was to double the years of 
bis apprenticeship, and pay 40s. to the poor, '* by and attour the 
penalties and punishment belonging to the kirk." Masters were 
to pay each time of their marriage 6s. 8d., likely to defray the 
cost of a little feast to the trade on the occasion, but certainly 
not a provocative to matrimony, although immediately after this 
enactment we find it ordained that it shall in no wise be 
<4eisum" for an unmarried master to take an apprentice. All 
members of the craft were strictly prohibited from using im- 
proper language, and some are fined for misconduct in this 
respect. To secure a respectable attendance at funerals a fine 
was imposed for absence. An attempt seems to have been made 
to raise a fund something like a friendly society, but to have 
£Bdled. The grand affair, however, always appears to have been 
the church ; a list is given of the twelve persons who contributed 
in the erection of their loft in the cathedral in 1608, each of 
whom paid 250 mcrks ; " therefore, toUh the arms of the trade," 
which, if we mistake not, remained on the front of the loft till 
the church was repaired in 1806 ; and a list is also given of the 
seven persons whose wives were to be admitted, by the unani- 


mous consent, to sit in the front seat, likely as much a matter 
of ambition as the right of entry of a duchess to the royal pre- 
sence. In November 1687 a letter is read by His Majesty's 
command, King James II. of England; ordaining the continu- 
ance of all magistrates and ofl&ce-bearers* until further orders, 
with which illegal order of the foolish Stuart the officials readily 
complied; but in October 1689, during the interregnum, the 
craft, in obedience to the Act of His Majesty's Council, makes a 
new election of deacon^ treasurer, and other office-bearers. A 
law plea occurs in 1752 in regard to the gate penny, a tax of a 
penny exacted by the hammermen from every stall at the mar- 
kets in the town on which was found anything of iron work, 
understood to have been originally an allowance made to the 
trade for keeping the gates of the town at market times. The 
result of the plea is not mentioned, but we presume it had been 
favourable, as the trade continued the exaction till very recently. 
The mode of electing the office-bearers of all the trades was 
regulated by a minute of the Convenery Court in 1742, and, we 
believe, continues to be the rule to this day. 

The bakers of the burgh had surely been in repute at this 
time, for in the accounts of the town of Aberdeen there is this 
entry: "1603-4. — Item, to the post that brocht hame thrie 
loodes of quhyt breid fra Edinburgh, Donde, and Brechin, to try 
the baxteris with,' 68. 8d." But the next year the same accounts 
have an entry of a different kind, ^tUl, however, showing the 
intimacy between the two burghs; it is this, "To Caddell the 
I)Ost to gang to Brechin at command of the Provost for inquisi- 
tion of the pest at Killimuir, lib. 10s." The plague did not 
become serious in Brechin till more than forty years after this. 
The Brechin bakers do not appear to have been the only trades- 
men from that burgh held in repute in Aberdeen, for in the 
accounts already alluded to we have, under date " 1626-27. — 
Item, at comimand of the magistrates, given to ane calsie maker 
(paviour) that cam to this town from Brechin for undertaking 
the bigging of the town's common calsies, for making his ex- 
pensiss forth and hame, 61b. 13s. 4d." 

A few years afterwards, in 1629, the guildry incorporation was 
commenced, for this seems the proper term for a body whose re- 


cords begin thus : " The said day and several days before, these 
persons undernamed, who were then actual merchants, traders 
within the burgh of Brechin, taking to their consideration, that 
for themselves and their posterity, and for respect and love that 
they have to the welfare of the burgh wherein they were living 
and residing, they should lay out and improve themselves to their 
utmost, to be example to those who should survive them, to ad- 
vance the interest of merchandising, and for that end, the surest 
mean so to do was, that they should incorporate themselves into 
a body who were to keep order and rule, and with common con- 
sent to make such laudable acts as shoidd be performed by them 
so convened, and obeyed in all burghs for the weal of each other 
and the common good of the whole body, ay, and until they 
should attain to that perfection that other royal burghs do brook 
and possess of late, that is, to have a dean of guild established, 
under whose jurisdiction they were to be, and to be governed by 
the laws of the guild/* This preamble is followed up by a state- 
ment that a loft in the church had been bought for the use of 
the guildry, and mortcloths (palls) provided to be used at the 
interment of members and their families, and then a list of the 
contributors to the guildry is given. For many years afterwards, 
nothing is entered in the guild records but simply the names and 
contributions of persons admitted ; but, in 1666, there is a long 
decree engrossed from which it appears that the merchants had 
applied to the convention of burghs, and that that body had ap- 
pointed commissioners, who met at Brechin on 5th September 
1666, and, after hearing parties, ordained " that at the next elec- 
tion of the burgh of Brechin, and yearly at elections, in all time 
coming, in the said burgh, there shall be strictly kept and ob- 
served, without the least change or seeming alteration, these 
rules following : to wit, that the whole number of the council, 
magistrates, and others who shall have voice, shall consist of the 
number of thirteen only, whereof there shall be still eight of the 
said thirteen such as either has been or are actual trafficking 
merchants or maltmen who are not incorporate with any other 
handicraft; and if any be presently on the council under the 
name of merchants or maltmen, or yet incorporate in any of the 
trades, or meets with them, that they are hereby obliged, before 


they can be leeted as councillors for the merchants, to renounce 
tlie said trade both before the collector at the meeting of trades, 
as also in presence of the council, and that the said thirteen shall 
not leet any to be magistrates but those who are merchants 
traffickers, and that at the said next election, and in all time 
coming, there shall be chosen out of the said merchant councillors 
so leeted, their magistrates, conform to their ancient custom, with 
ane dean of guild and treasurer, with ane master of the hospital ; 
and the said dean of guild is hereby declared invested and em- 
powered as fully and freely in all respects as any royal burgh of this 
kingdom, with all the power, rights, and privileges that is or can 
belong thereto in any other royal burgh, as said is ; and that of 
the said thirteen of the council in all time coming, seven shall 
be a quorum, the haill councillors being always cited either per- 
Bonally or at their houses, to keep each councU day, with this 
provision always, that the said dean of guild and his council 
shall not have power to quarrel, stop, or impede any burgess resid- 
ing within the town, and bearing burden with the rest of the burgh, 
whether merchants or tradesmen, already made, in their privilege, 
that is, cannot challenge them, nor force them, or either of them, 
to enter of new as burgesses, or pay anything to the guild box." 
John Donaldson, who was the first contributor, in 1629, to the 
voluntary association then formed, was the first dean of guild of 
Brechin. His election is entered in the record on 8th October 
1669. Probably some delay had arisen with the convention, and 
the guildry had not been brought into play till that time. Like 
other corporations, the guildry is now on the wane. The malt- 
men have long ceased to exist. 

The authority of the bishop, though considerably abridged, 
was sufficient to constitute him the principal man of Brechin for 
the greater part of the seventeenth century. Andrew Lamb was 
bishop of the see from 1606 to 1619, and was one of the bishops 
sent to England in 1610 by King James for the purpose of re- 
ceiving Episcopal Ordination from the English bishops, as some 
doubts existed regarding that of the Scottish bishops. The Bishop 
of Brechin was accompanied by the Bishop of Galloway and the 
Archbishop of Glasgow, so we may infer that Lamb was con- 
sidered a man of some importance. 


David Lindsay held this diocese &om 1619 to 1634, when he 
was translated to Edinburgh. He is not more indebted to the 
popular rhymes of the day than are his brother bishops ; but, 
notwithstanding of the insinuations of the reformers and bards 
of that period, Lindsay appears to have been a man of unspotted 
virtue, and he certainly was a man of undoubted ability. Bishop 
Lindsay was one of the most spirited of all the prelates, and 
hence drew upon himself the especial hatred of the Covenanters. 
It is related of him, that being one time threatened with per- 
sonal violence in case he should read the service-book in his 
cathredral, he went into the pulpit with a pair of pistols in his 
belt, and resolutely read out the liturgy ; and his minister hav* 
ing become recusant, and refused to read the prayers as ap- 
pointed in the service-book or Scottish edition of the liturgy, the 
bishop caused his own servant ascend the desk and read the 
service regularly. It would appear that King Charles held 
Lindsay in high estimation, for he selected this bishop to act 
when he wa^ crowned King of Scotland, at Holyrood House, on 
18th June 1633. The ceremonies on this occasion are described 
with great minuteness, and seem to have attracted no Uttle at- 
tention from their near resemblance to Popish practices. 

Bishop Lindsay, when translated to Edinburgh, met with 
ruder treatment than he had ever experienced in Brechin. On 
the Sabbath of 16£h July 1637, an order was promulgated from 
the different pulpits in Edinburgh, for the introduction of the 
Scottish liturgy on the Sunday following. Accordingly, on 23d 
July 1637, the dean of St Giles' appeared in his surplice, and 
began to read the prayers, when an old woman, named Janet 
Geddes, rising with the tripod on which she had been seated, 
exclaimed, " Villain, dost thou say mass at my lug ! " and made 
the stool fly at the clei^ynaan*s head. All was inmiediately con- 
fusion ; Bishop Lindsay, who was present, ascended the pulpit 
and endeavoured to allay the ferment; he was answered by 
volleys of sticks, stones, and stools ; and had it not been for the 
assistance of the magistrates and influential nobility who at- 
tended this cathedral, in all probability the bishop would have 
been killed. As it was, Lindsay was much injured, and being 
then " a corpident man," and not able to defend himself as he 


had done in his earlier days, he was carried oflF with great diffi- ^ 
culty in the coach of the Earl of RoxburgL 

The great bell, as the session-house tablet informs us, was 
recast during Bishop Lindsay's incumbency. The session records 
state, that on 17th August 1630, " there was no session, because 
the minister was in Dundee agreeing with a skipper to take the 
great bell to Holland and found her of new, because she was 
riven." Immediately following this entry we find it recorded 
that James Peires left £300 to the kirk-session, " £200 thereof 
to the poor, and the third hundred to help the bell." 

In 1629 there is a disposition by John Mortimer of Craigievar 
to Robert Arbuthnot of Findowrie of his desk and seat in the 
kirk of Brechin, which sometime pertained to Symer of Balzordie, 
with the ground ivhereon the same stands, but reserving the life- 
rent use thereof to Craigievar and Helen Symer his spouse ; — so 
the conveyances of seats in the church, whether legal or not, had 
commenced at an early period. 

Bishop Whiteford, who succeeded Lindsay in the diocese of 
Brechin, met with pretty much the same treatment in the kirk 
of Brechin, in November 1637, as Lindsay had done imder Mrs 
Geddes in Edinburgh ; and in consequence of the irritation of 
the inhabitants, and the pugnacious spirit displayed by them, 
Whiteford was obliged to flee from his see, his palace having 
been plundered, and his wife and children threatened, if not ill- 
used. The burgh records contain no account of these transac- 
tions, but we observe that for several weeks about the end of the 
year 1637, there was no session, " because the minister was in 
Edinburgh." In 1638 Whiteford fled the kingdom and went to 
England, where he obtained, in 1642, the see of Waldegrave in 
Northamptonshire, from King Charles, to whose person and for- 
tunes he appears to have been decidedly attached. Whiteford 
died in England. 

A curious agreement is extant, dated in 1637, between Bishop 
Whiteford, " with advice and consent of the chapter of the said 
bishoprick,onthe first part," the Right Honourable Patrick Maule 
of Panmure, " one of his sacred Majesty's bed-chamber, on the 
second part," and the bailies, dean of guild, and town-treasurer, 
'* with the advyce and consent of the counsel! " of Brechin, on 


the third part. This document states that Mr Maule stood 
heritably infeft, " by his sacred Majesty" Charles I., with whom 
he was a great favourite, in the heritable offices of justiciary and 
constabulary within the city of Brechin, with power and liberty 
of election of one of the bailies of the burgh, ** upon the resigna- 
tion of Umquhile John, Earl of Mar, who was infeft therein, 
upon the resignation of Umquhile David, Earl of Crawford,* 
authors to the Laird of Panmure ; " but that disputes having 
arisen about Mr Maule's right, the king had, in 1635, directed 
a commission to the archbishop of 8t Andrews, and other 
prelates, for settling of all controversies, and that, in terms of 
the recommendation of these commissioners, it was agreed, in 
1635, that, for the future, one bailie should be chosen by the 
bishop, one by the Laird of Panmure, and one by the town of 
Brechin, and that the Laird of Panmure should give a deputa- 
tion of the offices of justiciar and constable to the baUie whom 
he named, " by doing whereof, all controversie betwixt the de- 
pute of the justiciar and the town, anent the jurisdiction therein, 
will be removed, whereas of before there has been still debait 
and contention, in matters of riot or bluid, the justiciar and his 
deputes claiming the samen to them, and the bailzies of the town 
also pretending right thereto." The charter chest of Panmure 
contains some long processes, in reference to the right to judge 
and punish in matters of '' riot and bluid,'' claimed by the town 
and by the justiciar. The present magistrates, we daresay, 
would be most happy if Lord Panmure would relieve them of 
the trouble of deciding such " bluid wits " occurring now-a-days. 
This agreement, with some partial interruptions, was acted upon 
till the forfeiture by the Panmure family in 1715. 

The disturbances in Scotland during the reign of Charles, 
have afforded materials for many volumes. It is not our pro- 
vince to detail these civil wars, but we must glance at them in 
so far as Brechin was affected by them. Suffice it for us to 
say, that the despotic attempts of James, and the still more 
despotic attempts of Charles, to force upon a rude people a 
mode of worship which certainly bore, in some of its forms, a 
likeness to the Boman Catholic ceremonies, led to serious wars 
between the king and the people, which finally terminated in the 


decapitation of Charles, and the establishment of a miscalled re- 
public, under the dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell. Many and 
severe were the struggles of parties before matters were thus 
settled. In March 1638, the solemn league and covenant was 
subscribed in the Greyfriars Church of Edinburgh, by the great 
majority of the barons and leading men of Scotland. Copies 
Vere inmiediately transmitted through the land, and were re- 
ceived with exultation in almost every quarter. The Bishop of 
St Andrews is reported, on hearing of these proceedings, to 
have exclaimed, " All we have done these last thirty years is at 
once undone." At this time a Committee of Estates, as it 
was called, assumed the temporary government of Scotland. 
In 1643 this body raised a regiment of horse, and " appointed 
140 to come out of the sheriffdom of Forfar." Most likely 
these men were furnished by the landed interest ; but subse- 
quently — as we are informed by Spalding, in his " History of 
the Troubles in Scotland and England " — there were " lifted out 
of the town of Edinburgh 1200 men, out of Dundee 180, out of 
Br^hin and Montrose 110 men;" and these assuredly were 
raised by the burgesses. Presuming Montrose and Brechin to 
have borne to each other the relative proportion of inhabitants 
which they now do, this would give about 36 men for Brechin ; 
and holding again that the proportion was just between Brechin 
and Edinburgh, it would show that the inhabitants of Brechin 
were then as one to thirty-one of those of Edinburgh, while at 
the last census they were about as one to twenty-three. " Ilk 
soldier (of this period we are told) was furnished with twa 
sarks, coat, breeks, hose and bonnet, bands and shoon ; a sword 
and musket, powder and ball for so many, and others, some a 
sword and pike, according to order ; and ilk soldier to have six 
shillings (sixpence sterling) every day, for the space of forty 
days, of loan silver ; ilk twelve of them a baggage horse worth 
£50, (Scots,) a stoup, a pan, a pot for their meat and drink, to- 
gether with their hire or levy, or loan money ; ilk soldier esti- 
mate to ten dollars." 

In 1644, Brechin was made the place of rendezvous for the 
Covenanters, and the Marquis of Argyle is said to have been 
joined in the September of that year, by the Earl Marischal, the 


Lord Gordon, Lord Forbes, Lord Frazer, Lord Crighton, and other 
noblemen who -met him at Brechin. Jn the following years the 
Covenanters again made Brechin their rallying-point, and Hurry 
and BaiUie, the covenanting generals, assembled their troops at 
Brechin, in January 1646, with the view of intercepting the Mar- 
quis of Montrose in his descent upon the low countries. Hurry, 
who was a man of considerable abilities, left Brechin, with six' 
hundred horsemen, one morning early in March, to reconnoitre 
the royal army, then lying at Fettercaim, but was led into an am- 
buscade and defeated by Montrose at the planting of Haulkerton, 
a little beyond the North Water Bridge. The covenanting army, 
although superior in numbers to the royal army, was deficient in 
training, and its generab were obliged to waive a battle, and to 
allow Montrose to proceed westward by the ridge of the Gram- 
pians ; the Covenanters keeping between the Marquis and the low 
country. The covenanting and royal armies thus l)oth marched 
westward at the same time, in parallel lines, but at a respectful 
distance from each other. Montrose, however, proved himself a 
second time an overmatch in policy for Grenerals Hurry and 
Baillie. By a stratagem, he passed the Covenanters, came down 
upon Dundee, sent his baggage and part of his troops on to Brechin 
in the end of March ; and, after plundering Dundee, came with 
the rest of his army, by forced marches, to Arbroath, and then 
up to Careston, and so away into the Highlands over the Gram- 
pians, where he was joined by the baggage and the party which 
he had despatched to Brechin ; and thus he eluded Greneral 
Baillie, who was again in fiill pursuit after him. The citizens of 
Brechin are allied to have been not a little alarmed when the 
royal troops came to visit them, and apparently they had too 
much reason, for Montrose is said to have burned and destroyed 
some fifty or sixty houses in the burgh. The kirk-session records 
state, that on 23d March 1645 there was " no preaching, neither 
collection, by reason of the enemies being in the town ; " and on 
31st March, there is an entry to the same effect. On 29th July 
1645, a similar entry is repeated ; and on 16th November of that 
year, we are informed there was no session in consequence of the 
absence of the ministers, " and of the enemie, Lodovick Lindsay, 
approaching near to the town." A minute under the date of 


28th June 1647, is still more graphic: **No session, neither 
collection, by reason the sermon was at the Castle of Brechin for 
fear of the enemie." Another equally graphic entry occurs in 
November 1646 : " Taken out of the box, (says the record,) to 
buy a mortcloth, £80 ; the first mortcloth was plundered by the 
common enemy and taken away." This "common enemy" 
seems, however, to have had some friends in Brechin, at least 
the session records insinuate as much, for on 28th February 1647, 
" the minister demands of the whole elders if any of them had 
drunken James Grahame's good health," which,. of course, they 
all denied. Spalding, in reference to the visit by Montrose's 
troops in 1645, says, " The town's-people of Brechin hid their 
goods in the castle thereof and kirk steeples, and fled themselves, 
which flight enraged the soldiers; they berried their goods, 
plundered the castle and haill town, and burned about sixty 
houses.'' In the Balnamoon charter room there is a list of the 
losses sustained by the Laird of Findowrie and his tenants, 
through the Marquis of Montrose in 1646, and " by burning of 
his Ludging in Brechine," so that lairds as well as burgesses had 
suffered from the great marquis. General Baillie, however, hav- 
ing returned and again made Brechin his rendezvous, the courage 
of the people was somewhat restored, the more especially when 
they saw the covenanting general joined in Brechin by the Earl 
Marischal, the Viscount Frendraught, the Lord Frazer, the Master 
of Forbes, the Lairds of Boyne, Echt, Craigievar, Leslie, and most 
of the gentry in the surrounding country. Fortune was at this 
time against Montrose and the royal troops ; and the glorious vic- 
tories of the Covenanters were unfortunately tarnished by the de- 
livery of Charles L to his English subjects in 1647 ; a transaction 
which reflected small credit upon either the buyer or seller, for, 
disguise it as we may, the delivery of Charles was little else than 
a money bargain between England and Scotland ; although we 
Scotsmen are fond enough to think that our ancestors were mis- 
led by the Southerns. Against this transaction, we are happy to 
say, the commissioner for the burgh of Brechin stood out, along 
with the commissioners for Forfar, Boss, and Tain. We regret 
we cannot record the names of these worthies, who showed them- 
selves persons of sense and deliberation, when overzeal seems to 


have blinded the feelmgs of most men. Montrose, although de* 
feated in 1647, was not a man to be easily put down« In 1650, 
he again raised the civil war in Scotland for behoof of Charles 
XL, who then claimed the throne of his ancestors, but the Cove^ 
nanters met Montrose with spirit, overcame him, and finally 
beheaded him. No sooner was it known that Montrose was in 
Scotland for another campaign, than the Estates, the covenant- 
ing party, directed David Leslie, their conunander-in-chief , or 
as Father Hay, a keen royalist, was pleased to designate him, 
•'Argyle's Postilion," to gather together, at Brechin, all those 
parties of horse and foot which, since the termination of the first 
campaign, had been dispersed over the country for its protection. 
During the wars of Montrose, therefore, it would appear that 
Brechin was esteemed the key of the covenanting army, and its 
situation immediately on the line between the Highlands and 
Lowlands, and commanding the only bridge then in existence over 
the South Esk, seems to have rendered it of importance in such a 
civil war&re. The burgh was much annoyed by this distinction, 
which rendered it an object to both parties. For several weeks 
in the end of August, and during the months of September and 
October 1651, there were " no sermon, collection, nor session, by 
reason both the ministers were absent, the English forces lying 
in garison round about this town and a garison in the Castle of 
Brechin," so the kirk records bear ; and they further inform us, 
that on 2d July 1651, there was " no session, neither sermon 
this Wednesday, by reason all within this burgh was called to 
go to Aberbrothock to assist them against the pursuing enemy 
by «ea;" although in what manner the landsmen of Brechin 
were so to assist is not explained. Again, in November, we are 
told there was ''no sermon this Wednesday, be reason twelff 
hundreth EngUsh were in the town, Tuesday all night, and on 
Wednesday till the time of Divine Service was past." 

The country in the seventeenth century seems to have been 
much infested with vagrants. In 1615, John Mill, kirk-officer, 
and bailie John Liddle, are enjoined by Bishop Andrew Lamb 
and his session to go daily through the town and expel the 
" vagabonds and stranger beggars ; " and in subsequent years, 
these enactments are renewed in the records of the session 


of Brechin. Similar proceedings were adopted in most other 
parishes. The natural consequence of this state of things was, 
that the poor were compelled to feed on filthy garbage, and be- 
came infected with disease, wliich rose from the lowest to the 
highest, and raged in various shapes in different parts of Scot- 
Lmd, for several years, about this period. In 1604, the Scottish 
Parliament was obliged to meet at Perth to avoid the plague 
tlien raging in Edinburgh, and the disease seems to have gone 
on increasing and travelling northwards for many years after- 
wards. Great frosts and snow, which occurred in the seed-time 
of 1640, still further tended to increase the evil. Brechin was 
visited with the pestilence in 1647. The session records, after 
informing us that there was a public fast on 4th April, state 
" there was no session, neither collection, from the 4th April, by 
reason the Lord inflicted the burgh of Brechin with the infect- 
ing sickness until the 7th November ; " and even on the 7th 
November, when a collection is made, there is no session, by 
reason the minister and elders are afraid to keep company, or, as 
the records of the Landioard session bear, " be reason the 
moderator and remanent sessions feared to convene under one 
roof." Indeed, the regular meetings of the session scarce seemed 
to have recommenced till 26th December 1647, although all 
business was not interrupted, for the records inform us, that 
*' when it pleased the Lord that the sickness began to relent 
there were some persons contracted and married ; " such is life. 
Clcanse7'8 were at this time brought from Edinburgh, who, if we 
may judge from some of the entries in the session records, were 
not men of the best character, but what these cleansers did we 
have no means of ascertaining. Other parts of the session 
minutes show, that amidst this scene of death, there were scenes 
of folly. The terror of the disease seems to have extended to 
the country. The records of the parish of Menmuir of 11th 
April. 1647, bear that " because of the forthbreakmg of the 
plague in Brechin, the minister preached in the fields, therefore 
no collection;" and from that date till 26th September, a 
similar entry is made every Sabbath. A stone built into the 
wall of the churchyard of Brechin, records that in 1647, no less 
than six hundred died of the plague in Brechin in the course of 


four months. The inscription is comparatively modem in point 
of workmanship, but most probably has been copied from an 
older stone. It runs thus : — 

" 1647. 

Luna quater creaoens, 
Sexcentos peste peremptoa, — 
Diace mori, — ^yidit. 
PulviB et umbra aumuB." 

Close by the stone is another, placed between double columns, 
supporting a Saxon arch, and recording in bold aUo relievo 
lettering, the death in that year of Bessie Watt, spouse of baHzie 
David Donaldson, and their daughters, Elspet and Jean, all of 
whom most probably also died of the plague. The inscription 
is in very simple language : " Heir lyes Bessie Watt, spovs to 
David Donaldson, bailzie of Brechin, and Elspet Donaldson, and 
Jean Donaldson, their Dochters, 1647." From a sasine found 
amongst some old papers belonging to' the town, it appears that, 
in 1633, Bailie Donaldson and Bessie Watt were owners of 
the house now belonging to Mr Thomas Ogilvy, on the High 
Street, the adjoining house, on the south, having then belonged 
to Lord Airly, the head of the clan Ogilvy, to whom it yet pays 

The plague seems to have continued in and around Brechin 
for the greater part of the year 1648, for in January the 
treasurer of the session takes credit for thirty shillings, (Scots 
of course,) " given to William Ross lying in ane hutt ; " while 
in August it is twice recorded there was '' no session be reason 
the infection was begun again in the toun;" and finally, in 
October £3, 12s. additional are given " to buy malt and meall 
to those in the htUts." These huts are said to have been ei*ected 
in the Glen of Murlingden, and before the present garden of that 
property was made out we remember small mounds at different 
places which were reported to have been huts or houses pulled 
down over the inmates who had died there of the plague. It is 
to the honour of the then inhabitants of Brechin that amidst 
their own troubles they did not forget those of their neighbburs, 
for in October 1648, no less than £42, 14s. 2d. (Scots we be- 
lieve) are collected for the "distressed people in Montrose," where 


by this time, we presume, the ** infecting seeknese" had been 
worse than in Brechin. 

In 1634 the South Esk suddenly subsided^ from what cause 
was not known, at least is not reported ; but the fact is recorded 
and imputed as a sign of the troubles which then hung over the 
kingdom. Tradition has it, that the bed of the river was wholly 
dry for twenty-four hours, except at the Ee-o'-the-weil, and 
Stannachee, and that the water gradually subsided, and as 
gradually returned. Most probably the circumstance had ariisen 
from a great drought. The subsequent winter was one of severe 
storm, and the greater part of the shipping on the east coast of 
Scotland was destroyed. 

The town council possess few records of this period, but the 
kirk-session have several old volumes relating to this time. On 
the fly-leaf of one of them, there is the following note : " The 
town register evidencing that, in James Watt, reader and 
session-clerk, his time, the town and landward kept session 
weekly ; and for the landward collections an elder was appointed, 
for receiving and keeping the same, which was distributed by 
the direction of the minister and remanent elders, to the land- 
ward poor. Upon the 20th June 1624, the minister and land- 
ward elders, taking into their serious consideration, that the 
landward elders could not conveniently attend the town-session 
weekly, by reason of the distance of place, and their urgent and 
necessary labour and affairs at home, particularly in the oat and 
here seed time, in summer season for casting, winning, and lead- 
ing eldon, and in the harvest time : Therefore, after mature de- 
liberation, resolved, and thought it expedient and most necessary 
to separate. Whereupon, it was condescended and agreed by 
the minister and elders, to keep the landward session on the 
Sabbath day, betwixt sermons, and to have a box for keeping 
the collections, and a register containing their acts, collections, 
penalties, and processes, and distributiona The book from the 
year 1624, containing these particulars above expressed, was 
taken away by the common enemy^ and this book, de novo, begun 
on the 3d of March 1644." The sessions thus disjoined, con- 
tinued separate till about 1708, when Mr Willison, then clergy- 
man, seems to have taken considerable trouble in getting the 


' burgh and landward sessionB again united. The session have 
another volume, commencing in 1615 and ending in 1677, con- 
taining the " acts and ordinances of the kirk and session of 
Brechin/' and thus, amongst the different volumes, there is a 
pretty correct report of the proceedings in the session. In these 
volumes there are many curious entries. John Duncanson, 
baxter, in 1619, applies to have ^' an act of slander against all 
such as should object anything to him concerning Marion Mar- 
now, a witch, that was burnt, which the session refused, till 
further advisement" The same year the session resolved that 
for every burial in the body of the church between the pillars, 
there should be paid £20, and in the aisles and toofalls £10, 
" all to the use of the kirk." On 13th December 1620, we 
have this entry in the records of the church, " Given to the 
session by John Donaldson and his brother, David Donaldson, 
at their return from their sea voyage, £4, 4s., to be bestowed on 
the poor." From similar subsequent entries, we learn that the 
voyage was to London. In the same year, 1620, application 
is made for assistance in building a bridge over Noran water, at 
Courtford, when the session appoint a. collection to be made 
through the town, '' both to help that bridge, and the Pow Bridge 
betwixt Eannaird and Auld Montrose, which our sovereign. King 
James the Sixth, caused lay over for leading of his Majesty's 
provision to Kinnaird, in 1617." Hence we might infer, what 
we find elsewhere to be a fact, that James that year visited 
David Carnegie at Kinnaird, whom he had the year previous 
raised to the peerage, by the title of Lord Carnegie of Kinnaird.* 

* James was a mighty hunter, although a most awkward horseman, and was 
fond of puTBuing the game in the muir of Monroumonth or Montreuthmont, 
adjoining Kinnaird. In ** Adamson's Muae'a Welcome," printed at Edinburgh in 
1618, there are some curious addreaeee presented to tiie king on his visit to 
Scotland in 1617. One says : — 


Stay then, (dread Leige,) stay with us a while, 
With pleasing sports the posting time begyle ; 
Thy fynest hawks and fleetest hounds shall finds 
Of fowls and beasts, a prey of everie kynd. 
For morning both and evenyng flight, each day 
Each hawk thou hast, shall have her proper prey : 
Each fowl that flies shall meit thee in thy way, 
And in their sorts shall Avt Ca$ar say/* 


These events are all during the time that Episcopacy was the 
form of worship recognised by the state. 

The session records of 15th April 1650, state that the town 
and landward elders being convened after sermon, and it being 
shown by the minister that Mr John Fyfe refused to take the 
charge, to be an actual minister in this congregation, " they all 
being inquired whom they would nominate to that charge, they 
all, una vocCy after due deliberation, nominated Master Laurence 
Skinner, to be conjunct minister with Mr William Raitt" We 
have not observed any previous mention of Mr Fyfe in the 
records, but whether there is such entry or not, this minute 
proves that the session then exercised the right of choosing the 
minister. The volume of records, commencing in 1615, gives a 
somewhat different version of the matter. There it is stated, 
*' that on 13th March 1650, the minister, provost, bailies, council, 
and others within the burgh, and commissioners direct from the 
landward session, being convened for nominating and calling ane 
actual minister to this vacant kirk, and that be reason Mr John 
Fyfe refuses to embrace the charge, all in one voice did nominate 
Mr Laurence Skinner, minister at Navar, to be their minister, 
and colleague with Mr William Raitt ; " and on 24th May, the 
same record tells us Mr Skinner ** was heartily received by the 
magistrates and others of the parish, as their minister. *' The 
magistrates appear always to have formed constituent members 
of the session at this time, and every two or three years a list 
of the elders and deacons is made up, commencing with the 
provost and two bailies. Hence, the acts and ordinances of the 
session have much the character of the proceedings of a lay 
court, the magistrates carrying with them to the session their 
magisterial powers, and sending to ward, or jail, persons who 
did not implement the orders of the session. On the one hand, 
the session then assumed powers which are now vested wholly in 
the town council, and we find them repeatedly admitting indi- 
viduals to the benefit of the hospital, and making a regulation, 
that applicants for this privilege shall be both examined and 
catechised publicly before the session, and that the person who 
has best insight in the grounds of religion shall be preferred : 
this entry is dated 24th November 1646. On the other hand, 


the abfiencc of the magistrates was deemed sufflcient reason for 
not holding a session ; thus 21st May 1662, " No session holden 
this day, by reason the magistrates went, immediately after 
sermon, to bring in the Trinity fair ; " and similar entries fre- 
quently occur. Amongst other crimes which then engaged the 
attention of the dignitaries of the kirk. Sabbath-breaking fre- 
quently occurs ; some are punished for selling ofe, others for 
winnowing com, a few for frolicsome behaviour, and a good 
many for " yolking their carts, both in the burgh and landward," 
and going ^' to the mosa'' Where this moss was situated is not 
mentioned ; but apparently it had been at some distance, as the 
olFenders are occasionally accused of commencing their labour 
iKjfore twelve o'clock of Sunday night ; and it may thus be in- 
ferred, that they wished to have a long day for bringing home 
their eJdon. A serious discussion is entered upon the minutes of 
the session in Deceml>er 1649. One woman complains to the 
session against another for scandalising her, by calling her a 
witch ; and the party complained upon undertakes to prove that 
the complainer is actually a witch. Witnesses are called. One 
person swears that the suspected witch rubbed the witness's side, 
and then followed such a pain, that the witness could not bow 
herself for weeks ; another, that his mother having refused to 
give the witch a little butter, could make no more butter that 
season ; a third, that the witch spoiled her brewsts ; and others, 
that a suspicious dog kept com|)any with the witch, who was 
over-kind to the animal. The session sent the matter to the 
presbytery, and as we hear no more of it, we flatter ourselves 
that they gave the silly affair the go-by. The trial of witches 
was, however, common in this part of the country; and the 
minutes of the kirk-session of Menmuir, of 2d and 23d December 
1649, tell us that there was '*no lecture this week, because the 
minister was attending the conmiittee appointed by the provin- 
cial assembly, for the trial of witches and charmers in their 
bounds." Tradition also informs us that unfortunate beings did 
sufifer in Brechin for this imaginary crime; and the hollow 
where the gas-work is now erected, bears the name of the 
Witch Den; digging in which, some years ago, a gentleman 
foimd a quantity of ashes mixed with human bones, and a piece 


of iron chain, tending to confirm the tradition, that witches had 
been burned in this place. Amongst the archives of the town 
is preserved an instrument called the witch's branks, an iron 
frame made to embrace the head, with a piece shaped like an 
arrow contrived to enter the mouth and prevent the criminal 
from speaking, and the whole fastening behind with a padlock, 
which might have been easily attached to a stake or a building. 
We should be truly thankful that the march of intellect has 
now banished such superstitions from Brechin. Amongst other 
minutes in the records of the session of 1650, there is one illustra- 
tive of the price of books in these days ; stating that the session 
had " given to Catherine Williamson, to buy a New Testament, 
16s." — Scots of course, but almost then equal to sterling money 
of the present time. In October 1654, there was a collection "for 
helping to build the bulwark of Aberbrothick ; '* and in October 
1657, a similar collection for building the shore of Montrose; 
while the bridge of Tayock got an aid in October 1660. 

All these events, for the proof of which we are indebted to the 
kirk-session records, being subsequent to 1640, of course, took 
place while Presbyterianism was predominant. 

On 26th January 1662, the records of session state, ** This 
day it was shown by the minister, that it is appointed by autho- 
rity, that no session be keeped within this land till afterwards a 
way and liberty be opened and granted by authority hereafter ; 
but only to keep session for writing up the collection and distri- 
buting charity to the poor." This entry is explained by another 
occurring on 3d August 1662, which says there was " no session 
holden this day, by reason it was the first Sabbath of the bishop 
his entry, and preached this day." This was Bishop David 
Strachan. Episcopacy was thus again re-established by Charles 
II. ; and the ministers and elders went on under the bishop, in 
pretty much the same style as they had done during his absence. 
An elder is punished and deprived of his office, for permitting 
piping and dancing in his house on a Sabbath, and '^ having 
many more at his daughter's marriage than was appointed;" 
others are punished for less peccadilloes; and in April 1670, 
there is a collection made to assist the inhabitants of Dundee in 
rebuilding their shore. 


The different clergy of the period embraced in this chapter 
seemed to have vied with each other in gifts to the church, pro- 
bably with the view of purchasing the good opinion of their 
hearers. In 1643, as a tablet affixed to the wall of the session* 
house informs us, '* Mr Alex. Bisset, minr. at Brechin, gifted a 
silver cup for the communion table ; " and in 1648, " Mr Wm. 
Bait, minr. at Brechin " made a similar gift. These silver cups, 
presented by Presbyterian clergymen, are still in use. The same 
authority tells us that in " 1655 Mr Laurence Skinner, minister 
at Brechin, gave the church's great Bible ; ^^ and that in " 1665 
Dauid B. of Brechin gifted the orlidg on the steepel," a clock 
which, we believe, continued to mark time to the people of 
Brechin till pulled down, when the cathedral was repaired sixty 
years ago. But the greater dignities of the church were uot the 
only benefactors of it. The tablet referred to informs us that in 
" 1660, John Mil, church-officer, gave three tinne basins for 
serving in administration of the sacrament,'' which basins con- 
tinue to be so employed at the present time, and are interesting 
as illustrative of the state of popular feeling in 1660, each having 
a pretty good likeness of Charles I. embossed in the centre. 
Bound the margin of each plate or basin, there is an inscription 
to this effect: — '^Pelvis Ecclesisd Brechineensi Dedicata Ut 
Eeidem In Administratione Sacramentorum Inserviat, Anno 
1660." The inscription varies slightly on the different plates. 
A rose, impressed on the margin of each basin, would lead us to 
infer that the basins are of English workmanship. 

The records of the burgh for this period, as already said, are 
extremely scanty, arising no doubt from the unsettled state of 
the times ; but amongst the few records which do exist, we find 
one dated 26th June 1656, ^' By his Highness' council in Scot- 
land," bearing that the council having received good information 
that the town of Brechin was, in former times, the seat where 
the commissary court for the shires of Forfar and Kincardine 
respectively were kept, and that it is the most convenient place 
for the two shires ; therefore, the council directed '^ that from 
henceforth the commissary court of the said shires respectively 
be kept at Brechin, aforesaid, until further orders." This docu- 
ment is signed "Broghill, president;" and was issued during 


the protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, when the civil administra- 
tion of Scotland was committed to a council of state, composed 
of nine persons, seven Englishmen and two Scotsmen, of which 
council Lord Broghill was president. The name of the com- 
missary of this period is not extant ; but as most of the com- 
missariots were then filled by English military officers, very 
likely the commissariot of Brechin was put under similar com- 
mand. When the commissary court of Brechin was abolished in 
1824, and the duties of it transferred to the sheriff, the parishes 
of Strachan, Glenbervie, and Caterline were the only places in 
Kincardineshire which were connected with the commissariot 
of Brechin. But, curiously enough, Michael Hill, within the 
policies of Brechin Castle, was understood to be in the diocese 
of Dunkeld, while part of Aldbar was in the commissariot of St 
Andrews. All these anomalies were corrected in 1824, by mak- 
ing each sheriff the commissary within his own county. 

During the seventeenth century, the exports of Brechin con- 
sisted chiefly of malt and half-tanned hides ; and to almost every 
property in the burgh belonged either a kiln and coble, or a tan- 
pit. The other manufactures were few, and such only as sup- 
plied the most pressing wants of the immediate neighbourhood ; 
bonnets, shoes, blankets, and coarse cloth. Altogether the state 
of the people seems to have been very uncomfortable, deprived 
of the support which they formerly received from the church, 
distracted by civil wars, and without manufactures, and on many 
occasions without food. 

We must, however, bring this long chapter to a close. The 
period of time embraced in it is not great, but this period, from 
1600 to 1670, witnessed events of no small importance to Scot- 
land : the accession of James VI. to the English throne ; the 
succession, dethronement, and death of his son Charles I. ; the 
protectorate of Oliver Cromwell ; the succession of Cromwell's 
son Bichard to, and retirement from, the same proud eminence ; 
and the recall of Charles II. to the throne of his ancestors ; the 
abolition of Episcopacy ; the establishment of Presbyterianism ; 
and the restoration of the authority of the bishops. It was 
during the currency of the time embraced in this chapter, also, 
that a very melancholy event occurred in Brechin. Bobert 


Symmer, son of the Laird of Balzordie, having quarrelled with 
David Grahame, son of James Grahame of Leuchland, the two 
met on the "Hauche of Insche, neir to the Meiklemybie of 
Brechin/' on 30th April 1616, when Symmer struck Grahame 
" throw the body with ane rapper- sword ; quhair of sex or seven 
days thereafter he decessit." For this crime Symmer was tried 
before the High Court of Justiciary on 18th March 1618 ; found 
guilty by the verdict of assize, and sentenced " to be tane to the 
mercat-croce of Edinburgh, and thair his heid to be striken from 
his body, and all his moveable guidis to be escheit," — ^forfeited 
to the Crown. 

The most remarkable literary character of this period was 
Thomas Dempster, who by one author is said to have been born 
of a family of little note in Brechin, and by another to have been 
the son of the Laird of Muiresk in Aberdeenshire, where he was 
bom in 1579. He was educated first at Aberdeen College, and 
afterwards became a student at the University of Cambridge. 
Being a zealous Catholic, he went to France about the time of 
the Beformation, and obtained a professor's chair at Paris, 
" when," says Boyle, '' though his business was to teach a school, 
he was more ready to draw his sword than his pen." In conse- 
quence of his quarrelsome disposition, he was obliged in a short 
time to return to England, where he married Susanna Waller, 
a woman of uncommon beauty, with whom he soon after went 
again to Paris. Here the lady, vain of her charms, while walk- 
ing the public streets, exhibited more than an ordinary portion 
of her breast and shoulders, which attracted such a mob, that she 
and Dempster were both nearly trodden to death. Dempster 
obtained, by competition, a professorship in the university of 
Nimes, and soon after a vacant chair and a large salary in the 
University of Pisa. But here his comfort and usefulness were 
suddenly marred by the conduct of his " beautiful wife," who 
eloped with one of his scholars. Leaving Pisa, Dempster pro- 
ceeded to Bologne, and was appointed professor of Greek, in the 
universily of that town, in which situation he continued till his 
death, in 1625. Chambers describes Dempster as '' a learned 
professor and miscellaneous writer, bom at Brechin, in the county 
of Angus.** During his life he enjoyed an extensive reputation ; 


his published works were many and various ; but the principal 
of them was an " Ecclesiastical History of Scotland," in ** XIX 
beuks." Speaking of him as an author, an eminent critic says, 
"It would perhaps be difficult to point out another Scottish 
writer of his time, who had the same intimate acquaintance with 
classical antiquity." King James, in 1615, appointed Dempster 
to the office of Historiographer Eoyal. 

Another Hterary man of this period connected with Brechin 
was William Guthrie, a person of a very diflFerent character ifrom 
Dempster. William Guthrie, author of the well-known work, 
" The Christian s Great Interest," was born at Pitforthy, near 
Brechin, in the year 1620. His father, who was proprietor of 
that estate, had five sons, four of whom devoted themselves to 
the ministry. Of these William was the eldest, and to qualify 
himself for the profession he had chosen, he acquired a very 
superior classical education, studied divinity at St Andrews 
under Mr Samuel Eutherford, received licence to preach in 1642, 
and in 1644 was ordained minister of Fenwick in Ayrshire. 
During the " troublesome times " that followed, Mr Guthrie was 
by no means an idle spectator. When not engaged in his 
parochial duties, he was with the army as a chaplain, or assist- 
ing in conducting the business of church courts. At the restor- 
ation of Charles II. and re-establishment of Episcopacy, he was 
ejected from his living, and returned to Pitforthy, where the 
affairs of the family required his presence. He had only been 
there a short time when a complaint which had preyed upon his 
constitution for many years, rapidly increased. After some days 
of great pain, in the intervals of which he cheered his relations 
with his prospects of happiness in another tmd better world, he 
died in the house of his brother-in-law, the Eev. Lawrence 
Skinner, at Brechin, on the 10th of October 1665, and his body 
was interred in the cathedral church, below the pews belonging 
to the estate of Pitforthy. 

Various donations were given to the church during the period 
we have been considering, as recorded on a board in the session- 
house, which, as stated in the session minutes of 1683, was then 
put up to record the mortifications that till then had been made 
to the church, and those which might afterwards be made; 


showing a grateful sense of favours expected, a gratitude still 
existing. In 1680 Walter Jameson, bailie and kirk-master, 
gave two quart stoups for the communion table, which are still 
in use ; Bishop Strachan's widow, Mrs Anna Barclay, gifted 
£33, 6s. 8d. in 1682 ; and in 1690 Mr John Glendef, dean of 
Cashels and prebend of St Michael's, Dublin, who had likely 
been a native of Brechin, gave £40. 



Our further labours will be so far lightened, that we have now 
the council records of the burgh to refer to for our guide. The 
earliest existing volume of these records commences in 1672, and 
is thus titled by the clerk : ** Heir followis the acts off the Toun 
Council off the Citie off Brechin, begun ano 1672 : Balyiess then 
Geo. Steill, Da. Donaldson, Da. Liddell." This is succeeded by 
the following pious inscription : *' Incepto Libro Sit Laus et 
Gloria Christo, Gloria perpetua sit tribuenda Deo, (signed) Jo. 
Spence." The tradition is, that in 1745, the Highland troops 
used the council-room and courtrroom as guard-rooms, broke 
open the presses, and destroyed all the books and papers which 
they found there ; and that the books which do exist previous to 
that date, were only saved by being in the town-clerk*s private 
house, while the other documents saved were preserved by being 
deposited in a press in the church steeple. Certain it is, that 
the oldest book of records belonging to the burgh, is a record of 
instruments of sasine commencing in 1648. 

The town-clerk of the period was John Spence, who signs the 
pious inscription quoted ; he was of a family who long held this 
office. A mortuary stone in the churchyard of Brechin records 
that John Spence, merchant in Brechin, who died about 1640, 
had a son John, who was town-clerk of Brechin, and died in 
1689, being the gentleman who commences the first existing 
volume of our records. In 1678 Mr Spence's salary as town- 
clerk was fixed at one hundred merks Scots, and in 1679 all 
investments within the town are ordered to be given by him. 
Previously the clerk seems to have drawn the feus and mortifi- 


cationfi payable within the town as a recompense for his labours. 
In October 1681, (George Spence is nominated clerk with his 
father, in a well written minute, which is signed by the bishop 
and all the councillors in a very neat manner, and the office is 
given to them jointly and to the survivor. George died in 1717, 
having previously, in June 1713, commenced the second volmne 
of the council records with the same inscription as his father had 
begun the first, and in November of that year his only son John 
is appointed helper and successor. This John, as the stone in 
the churchyard tells us, died in 1773, having been town-clerk 
for fifty-six years ; and he again was succeeded by his only son 
John, who was made conjunct with his father in 1748, and died 
in 1790, after holding the office for forty-two years. It is 
worthy of remark that a John Spence was also town-clerk of 
Montrose in 1736, for in that year we find a charter in his 
favour of the Chanory House. Most likely he was a cousin of 
the John Spence who died in 1773, for he could scarcely be the 
same person monopoliring the same office in both burghs. In 
1788, John Spence, elder and younger, had been appointed con- 
junct clerks, with right to the office to the survivor, and this last 
John Spence died in 1817. Mr Alexander Bitohie, who had 
married his cousin, Miss Spence, was appointed depute-clerk to 
his brother-in-law, John Spence, in 1790, and having apparently 
managed the whole business after that, he was, in June 1796> 
conjoined to the office with John Spence. Thus the family of 
Spence were continuous town-clerks of Brechin for more than 
one hundred and fifty years. We were conjoined in office with 
Mr Bitohie in Nov. 1825, and he died in Nov. 1826, and as he 
was in a measure a Spence, it may be said we were the first 
stranger in the office, which we resigned in 1864, when the 
present official, Mr James Loudon GK)rdon, was appointed town- 

This first volume of the town council records alluded to, com- 
mences with a minute, intimating that the convention of royal 
burghs had resolved to protect Brechin against certain en- 
croachments on the Common Muir, made by the lairds in the 
neighbourhood The entry almost immediately following this, 
is one appointing a committee of the council to go to Arbroath, 


and there to treat with the other commisaioners from Dundee 
and Montrose, " for a Bettlement with Robert Carnegy of New- 
gate, anent his encroachment on their common lands." The 
lands of Newgate still continue as much a subject of debate to 
the good folks of Arbroath, as the lands of the Common Muir 
do to the citizens of Brechin, and one hundred and ninety years 
do not seem to have much changed the tempers of parties inter- 
ested in these respective lands. 

A minute of rather an inhospitable nature is found amongst 
the first records in the volume. It is entitled " An act against 
keeping of strangers by the inhabitants;" because, as the act 
states, " vagabonds and outcountry people " came in their poverty 
to reside in the burgh, and swallowed up the charity which pro- 
perly belonged to the poor of the place. It is to be feared that 
Montrose's wars had sent too many poor vagabonds to wander 
the country at that time. 

About the same period, there occurs an act of the town 
council, curiously illustrative of the then state of the country. 
This act bears that the magistrates and council, finding it has 
proved greatly to the disadvantage of the town of Brechin, " and 
has ruined the change-houses," and prejudiced other trades, in 
this, that strangers have not been encouraged* these many years 
past, to firequent this place on their road south and north for the 
want of horses to fiimish them with; therefore the council 
ordains a postmaster to be chosen yearly, who is to be bound to 
keep two horses of " furtie punds price the piece," and who is to 
be allowed " twelve pennies of ilk pund of hire from everie other 
person who shall hire horses within the town," and have also the 
privilege of pressing horses accustomed to be hired for the use of 
strangers. John Hall is immediately after named postmaster. 
The office appears to have been profitable, for, in 1674, it is 
exposed for sale by public roup. 

The first election of councillors, of which there is any record, is 
that of 26th September 1673. The council then proceeded, 
according to the practice of the good old times, first to elect 
themselves, then to set a leet of six persons for baUies ** of the 
whilk number (the record bears) my Lord Bishop of Brechin 
has named and appointed David Donaldson, younger, to continue 


and officiate as his lordship's bailie, from Michaelmas ensuing, 
1673, to Michaelmas 1674, and have referred the remanent five 
persons to ane noble earl, George, Earl of Panmure, to nominate 
and choose one of the saids persons as his lordship's bailie and 
justiciar." A treasurer is then elected, and the minute of that 
day closes. On 30th September the council are assembled, when 
there is presented a commission and presentation granted to 
John Liddell, by Mr Ersken, factor and commissioner for the 
Earl of Panmure, nominating Liddell to be '^ the said noble earl 
his bailie and justiciar-depute the said year.'' By '^ pluralitie of 
voices," the council then "nominated and appointed David 
Liddell to continue and officiate as town's bailie ; " and (as the 
minute records) the bailies, council, and dean of guild, have 
nominated Andrew Allan as dean of guild for said year." 
Thereafter, an hospital-master is elected, and the minute closes 
by a statement, that " the said day the court being fenced, the 
bailies for the last year did demit their office." Upon the 3d 
October following, a head court of the burgh is held, and the 
following entry made : " The roll of the whole inhabitants being 
called and diverse being absent, therefore unlawed ilk absent in 
the sum of five punds money, and ordains letters and executo- 
rials to be direct against them therefore." No other business 
ever appears to have been done at the annual head court of the 
burgh of Brechin, which was thus nothing more than a mere 
formality ; for as the names of the absentees were never entered, 
no fines could be enforced against them. 

The guildry record of the same period, 13th October 1673, 
bears that " Andrew Allan, of new chosen dean of guild, did 
compear and did accept of his office ;" a treasurer is then elected 
by the guildry from a leet of two persons named by the guildry, 
and the minute closes thus: '^ Nomina Goncilij Gildi, John 
Liddell, late dean gild, James Henderson, treasurer, David 
Donaldson, younger, David Liddel." It will be remarked that 
Donaldson was the bailie named by the bishop ; John Liddell 
the bailie named by Lord Panmure, and David Liddell the town s 
bailie, while James Henderson was a councillor of the burgh ; 
so that the town council seem to have had the whole sway in the 
guildry at that time, although by act of the guildry in October 


1671, it was specially appointed that the oouncil should oonskt 
of five members, the dean of guild, the box-master, and other 
three persons, " who shall be nominate, with common consent, 
by plurality of voices out of the said fraternity" of guildry. 
The same influence predominates during the whole period em- 
braced in this chapter of our history ; in 1683, Robert Strachan 
is received brother guild, gratis, at the request of my Lord 
Bishop, then provost of Brechin ; and in 1698 the provost and 
bailies are named before the dean in his own court. The pro- 
ceedings of the guildry, during the period alluded to, are chiefly 
confined to the regulation of their own internal affairs. On the 
9th February 1676, Christian Wilson, daughter of Charles 
Wilson, was admitted a guild brother^ or as the minute more 
properly phrases it, "a free person" of the guildry. In 1697, 
this lady got a husband, John Guthrie, and he was gallantly 
received a member of the guildry in respect of the payment 
formerly made by his wife. The right of sitting in the front 
seat of the loft in the church of Brechin occupied no little of the 
time of this incorporation. In October 1676, the guildry " have 
thought fit that there be one nominate to sit in the principal 
place of the loft in the church, and for that end, John Skinner 
is appointed, and failing of him, John Allan, to sit in that seat 
for tJie year to come" — a pretty long sederunt. Three years after- 
wards this is remedied by appointing the treasurer to enjoy that 
proud eminence " ilk Lord's-day," but the treasurer is enjoined 
to " come in timeously before the last bell rings." If we may 
trust the church records of this period, the sway exercised gave 
a man little choice whether he should go to church " timeously " 
or not ; for it would appear, if he had not attended, he would 
have been exposed both to the spiritual ban of the clergy, and 
the temporal power of the civil magistrate. At the beginning 
of the volume of records of the session commencing in 1678, are 
engrossed the *^ acts, statutes, and ordinances, according to the 
rules set down in the old register, anno 1615, and others added." 
Some of these acts are severe enough. " Imprimis, (says the 
record,) it is statute and ordained that all, both in town and 
landward, shall repair to the church on the Lord's-day to hear 
God's Word ; whosoever shall be found absent without a rele- 


vant excuse, shall pay for the first fault Ss. Scots, and so toties 
quoiiea doubling it, with their jmblic repentance." It is also 
ordered that all within the town shall repair to the '' hearing of 
sermon on the week day, and on Thursday at the exercise, under 
the penalty of 40 pennies, dispensing with the servants their 
absence on these days." To enforce these rules, the collectors of 
charity were to go through the town during the time of service 
and take down the names of offenders. Many other rules equally 
severe are enacted, and amongst the rest, '^ It is statute and 
ordained that whosoever shall be found drunk shall be admo- 
nished by the elders pro primo, and if they continue in that sin, 
shall be delated to the session, and then to be charged to appear 
there to acknowledge their offence, and shall be punished accord- 
ing to the discretion of the minister and elders, both in purse and 
private repentance ; and if they continue in that sin, they shall 
satisfy pubUcly." These enactments, be it remembered, were 
made during the prevalence of Episcopacy, for it was not till 
1640 that Presbyterianism was predominant, and Episcopacy 
was restored in 1662. 

Brechin was burned in 1672. The presbytery records of 21st 
March 1672, havQ this entry on the subject : '' This day the 
magistrates of the burgh of Brechin appeared, presenting the 
sad and deplorable condition of the distressed people in this town 
through great losses by a devouring fire on the third of this in- 
stant, betwixt one and two after midnight, whereby their dwell- 
ing-houses, insight plenishing, com in bams and bam yards, 
were destroyed, and supplicated a recommendation to the several 
kirks within the presbytery for charitable support, which was 
granted." Subsequently, these records tell us that the sums col- 
lected were as follows : — '* Marietoun, £8, 10s. 6d. ; Craig, £13, 
68. 8d. ; Montros, £66, 13s. 4d. ; Logic, £10, 13s. 4d. ; Dun, £9, 
6a 8d, ; Stracathro, £17, Is. 6d. ; Edzell, £10 ; Lethnot, £8, 8s. ; 
Navar, £4, 10s. ; Menmuir, £20, Is. 6d. ; Feara, £12, 13s. 4d. ; 
Othlo, £5, lOd. ; Carrotstoun, £3. No collection at Famell, by 
reason there is no minister there ; Kynnaird only deficient' 
These collections serve to give an idea of the respective wealth 
of these different parishes in 1672. The council records give no 
direct account of this fire. On a loose slip of paper, now bound 


up with the council book, there is an entry under date 6th Novem- 
ber 1672, bearing that " the council taking to consideration the 
condition of those who had the loss by the late fire, and that 
there are some that have lost all their subjects," therefore ordered 
an accompt to be taken of the money collected and distributed ; 
"and ordains that yet there shall be the sum of four-score 
punds distributed amongst those who have not houses burned, 
at the distribution of the bailies and council, and the superplus 
to be bestowed for rebuilding the houses/^ On 18th May 1674, 
we find an entry in the council book renewing the order for an 
account of the money " given for charity by this burgh and parish, 
and several other of our good neighbours, for the help of those 
who were sufferers in the late sad accident of burning ; " and in 
June following, the accompt is given in, bearing that there had 
been collected from the burghs of Dundee, Forfar, Arbroath and 
Montrose, and the presbyteries of Dundee, Forfar, and Brechin, 
and the presbytery of the Mearns, £479, 6s. Scots. The session 
records of Arbuthnott state that, on 2d June 1672, a sum of £6 
Scots had been collected at the kirk door of that parish for the 
benefit of the persons in the town of Brechin who had suffered 
by fire. From these entries we may conclude that the fire had 
been purely accidental, but that it had done considerable damage. 
And as we find the council employed at different times down to 
1676, in regulating the distribution of the money collected, it 
would appear that they had found no small difficulty in pleasing 
all parties in regard to it. 

Brechin sent a representative to Parliament in 1585, and con- 
tinued to do so till the Union. 

A number of the entries in the burgh records of the seven- 
teenth centuiy refer to the expenses which the burgh incurred 
by sending a commissioner to Parliament ; and occasionally dif- 
ferences seem to have existed between the representative and the 
constituents, as to the sufficiency of the sums remitted for his 
support. Other matters, however, also engrossed the council, 
matters which would now seem as strange as paying a salary to 
a member of Parliament ; and not a few acts and ordinances 
were then made by the town council of Brechin, which would 
scarce be observed by the burgesses of the present day. Thus, 


in 1674, it is enacted that no person shall put any of their male 
children, above ten years of age, to any school without or within 
the burgh, except the grammar-school, under the pain of j£20 

The gentleman whose school was thus fostered by a penalty 
was Mr John Dempster, a great favourite with the then town 
council. In September 1674, Mr John Dempster was appointed 
by the bishop to supply his charge as minister, upon which the 
council nominated Mr James Dempster assistant schoolmaster ; 
and, in the June following, Mr James Dempster is promoted to 
be principal schoolmaster ; Lord Fanmure, then patron of the 
prsBceptory of Maisondieu, having presented him to the emolu- 
ments arising from that endowment. 

But while matters went on thus smoothly with the heads of 
the church, one of the inferior officers gave the council no small 
annoyance. Robert Strachan, kirk-officer, presumed to " vili- 
pend and abuse the bailies," and to declare that he cared not a 
for all the bailies in Brechin. An act of council is there- 
fore made on 22d March 1675, embodying all this in the 
plainest language, and a copy of the act is sent to the bishop, 
Mr Bobert Lawrie, who lived in Edinburgh, and officiated 
as one of the ministers of Edinburgh. My lord bishop im- 
mediately writes back to his " much honoured and very good 
friends, the magistrates and town council of Brechin,*' condoling 
with them on the enormity of the offence committed, and author- 
ising them to dismiss the offender. The council accordingly 
nominated James Liddell, and presented him as kirk-officer to 
the session ; when the minister, Mr Laurence Skinner, declared 
his willingness to receive Liddell, if it was the bishop's plea- 
sure, upon seeing a confirmation of the nomination under the 
bishop's own hand ; and yet, withal, he declared that he could 
not receive him presently as kirk-officer, because it being a 
church office, he humbly conceived that before Liddell be ac- 
tually admitted to officiate, it was expedient that his election be 
authorised by some one clothed with church power for that end ; 
and in this resolution Mr Skinner is confirmed by the " commis- 
sioners direct from noblemen heritors, and other inferior heri- 
tors ; " but on 28th April, a very tart letter, written by the 


bishop " with hifl own hand," is produced, confirming all that 
the magistrates had done, "whereupon Mr Laurence Skinner 
protested against the sudden procedure of the bailies and tovm 
council," &c., which protestation, however, "the bailies pro- 
hibited the clerk of the session to insert in the town session book, 
and that under the highest pains ; " but Mr Skinner " commanded 
the clerk to insert it, the next Lord's day, in the landward session 
book, which was done accordingly, and there it is extant," says 
that record. We suspect Mr Patrick Brokas the session-clerk, 
who appears to have been an mteUigent and pains-taking man, had 
also been a prudent one, and while complying so far with the in- 
junctions of the minister, had had the terror of the bishop before 
his eyes, as he cuts short Mr Skinner's protest with an " et cetera." 
Strachan was accordingly discharged, but behold I in July my 
lords of the Privy Council take a diflFerent view of the matter, and 
Strachan is then restored by the town councQ, "conform to the will 
of the foresaid decreet of the lords of the Privy Council, letters of 
homing following thereupon and charge given to themagistrates." 
Strachan is mentioned as continuing kirk-officer in 1684. 

The tolbooth of the burgh has always been a source of annoy- 
ance to the council. In October 1675, one debtor escaped, and 
the council were in fears about other two. They therefore ap- 
pointed the jail to be watched night and day by two " armed 
able men," to be furnished alternately by the incorporations of 
the smiths, glovers, bakers, shoemakers, weavers, tailors, mer- 
chants, maltmen, and wrights. In 1683, a debtor of some note 
is recorded as offering the town-officers considerable sums to let 
him go free ; and therefore the council very wisely apply to have 
him transported to some other burgh. Besides the town-officers, 
the magistrates of that time possessed an official who has since 
been dispensed with — the town's-piper — and to that office we 
find a John Wyslie admitted on 20th June 1688, to whom there 
is assigned a salary of ten merks yearly, " by and attour the 
good will of the town's-people." Wyslie was discharged in 
January 1691, because he did not perform the duties of his 
office, in going regularly through the city morning and evening, 
but in 1698 he is again restored, likely upon promise of better 
behaviour. The person who held this office of town's-piper 


about 1750, was wont, after his perambulations through the 
town to rouse the inhabitants from their couches, to terminate 
his journey opposite the White Swan Inn, then the principal inn 
of the burgh; on the site of which the Union Bank is now built, 
in what was then called the Meal Market Wynd, now denomi- 
nated Swan Street, and where the piper blew his chanter till 
mine host of the Swan gave him a " mominV' which, we have 
understood, was generally ample, and the glass was duly emptied 
by the piper with a significant nod to the landlord, and a hearty 
" beer's till him " — both gentlemen were out in the " fourty-five." 
"The office seems gradually to have fallen into abeyance, the 
town withdrew the salary, the incorporations withheld their 
grants, the inhabitants became chary of giving money for such 
music, and towards the close of the eighteenth century the piper 
ceased to play ; the latest notice which we find of the musician 
being the grant of a coat for him by the guildry in 1796. This 
last of the pipers was named Low. He lived at the Ghillowhill, 
or where the North Port Distillery is now situated. He dis- 
charged the duties of his office by playing through the town in 
the morning at 5 o'clock, and in the evening at 7 o'clock, while 
then, as now, the great bell was rung during sununer at 6 
o'clock morning, and during the winter at 7 o'clock morning, and 
each evening at 8 o'clock ; the piper serving as the precursor 
of the beUman, or a warning for those who preferred early hours. 
The crop of 1674 appears to have been deficient In March 
1674, the session records tell us there was ''inthnate a day of 
humiliation to be keeped through the whole presbytery the next 
Lord's day, by reason of the great storm of snow and frost lying on 
the ground in the spring time of the year, when the seed ought to 
be sown in the ground." In 1675, there appears also to have been 
a bad harvest, for on the 25th July of that year, a fast is pro- 
claimed, *' first, to mourn for the contempt and disobedience of the 
gospel and holy ordinances; second, for the great increase and pre- 
valence of aitheism and profanity in the land ; third, for the sin- 
ful undervaluing the great blessing of peace so long enjoyed under 
his Majesty, (the pious Charles II. ;) and fourth, because the 
Lord is angry with this land, threatening the destruction of the 
fruits of the ground, necessary provision for man and beast, and 


that by a long continued drouth, threatening the plague of fa- 
mine." Tn November 1675, the town council approve of a de- 
duction from the treasurer's account of £52 Scots, lost by the sale 
of 24 bolls of meal ** that was bought up by the town, and wafi 
sold out to the poor people the last summer, during the time of 
the scarcity of victual." The price of the meal is not mentioned. 
The crop of 1681 was also deficient, if we may believe a proclama- 
tion issued by the Privy Council, and noticed in the session-book, 
enjoining a fast, because, " first of abuse of peace and plenty, and 
contempt of the gospel ; next, because many have departed from 
the communion of the national kirk ; thirdly, because the Lord's 
wrath is manifested by afflicting the land with a long scorching 
drought, making the heavens as brass, and the earthas iron, 
binding up the clouds, threatening thereby to consume the 
fruits of the ground, necessary provision for sustaining the life of 
man and beast ; lastly, to pray for a blessing to the ensuing 
Parliament, which is to sit down at Edinburgh, 28th July next." 
This proclamation was issued by Charles II. I Mr Laurence 
Oliphant, writer in Edinburgh, was then agent for the town ; and 
in August 1681, that gentleman craves the coimcil to send him 
eight or ten bolls meal, in part payment of his account — the 
scarcity in Edinburgh probably having reduced Mr Oliphant to 
this necessity. 

Amongst other devices fallen upon by Charles II. for raising 
money, was the farming the duties then imposed as excise. The 
records of Brechin state, that on 13th May 1676, bailie David 
Donaldson was authorised to offer fgr the excise of the burgh for 
that year, the sum of a thousand merks Scots, '^ and if he find 
it convenient to go the length of twelve hundred merks," equal 
to £66, ISs. 4d. sterling. It is not stated whether the offer of 
the burgh was accepted ; but for that year, and for some years 
afterwards, " a month and a quarter's supply " is ordered to be 
raised "in lieu of excise," from which we conclude some ar- 
rangement had been made to save the burgh from the gangers 
of that period. 

In 1676, for the first time, we find the collector or convener, 
and the deacons of crafts, called to vote on the election of the 
town's bailie. When the council became possessed of the right 


to elect all the magistrates, the trades also had the privilege to 
vote on the leet set by the council for provost and bailies, a right 
which the deacon convener and deacons enjoyed till the reform 
act of 1833 threw the -election of the whole council into the 
hands of the ten pound voters, and since then the council thus 
elected choose out among themselves the magistrates and office- 

However much the body of the inhabitants of Brechin may have 
been inclined to Presbyterianism, the ruling party seem, after 
the restoration of Episcopacy in 1662, to have gone hand in hand 
with the court. Defection in high places was not much to be 
wondered at during a time when men's minds were so unsettled. 
Nay, defection seems to have gone down to the lowest classes, for 
we even find that the renowned Jenny Geddes, who first put out 
a hand against Episcopacy in 1637, gave all the inflammable 
materials in the booth where she carried on the trade of a green- 
grocer, to raise a bonfire in honour of the coronation of King 
Charles* in 1661. It is not to be wondered at, then, that the 
magistrates of Brechin of 1678, cheerfully sent Mr David Donald- 
son as commissioner to the Parliament summoned *' in order to 
the levying of forces for defence of the kingdom from foreign in- 
vasion and for suppression of field conventicles" a mode of 
preaching in wilds and glades, resorted to by the persecuted 
Presbyterians, who were prohibited under severe penalties from 
worshipping God according to the dictates of their own conscience. 
As we find no mention of conventicles in this neighbourhood, 
and as there are not, so far as we know, any memorials of Cove- 
nanters in the town of Brechin or surrounding country, we pre- 
sume that the spirit of the people, like that of their rulers, had 
now readily bent to Episcopalian sway. At any rate. Bishop Hali- 
burton, who was inducted into the see of Brechin in 1678, seems 
to have been determined to assume all the temporal, as well as 
all the spiritual power, attached to his office ; for the minute of 
the annual election of councillors in September 1678, commences 
by declaring that there were " convened personally, the Eight 
Reverend Father in God, George Lord Bishop of Brechin, as 
also," the bailies and councillors ; and frequently afterwards, 
when any business of importance fell to be transacted, the bishop 


took his place at the council board. Haliburton's attention to 
civil matters does not appear to have interrupted the proper dis- 
charge of his ecclesiastical duties, for he often presided at meet- 
ings of session, frequently preached during week-days, and was 
always present at Christmas, although, as we believe, he did not 
generally reside in Brechin. After his translation to the see of 
Aberdeen, we find it stated in the session records of Brechin, 
that on 20th September 1683, " Bishop HaUburton preached on 
the Lord's day, forenoon text, Matthew, 6th chapter, 7th verse," 
it being then the practice, to enter in the records of the session, 
not only the names of all the preachers, but the respective texts 
from which they preached. 

The arbitrary proceedings of Charles II. and his advisers pro- 
duced as much discontent as the despotic proceedings of his 
immediate predecessors, and the kingdom was kept in a ferment 
during the whole of his reign, which closed in 1685. In 1679 
occurred the battle of Bothwell Bridge, between the Presbyterians 
and Royalists, and in the same year Archbishop Sharpe was 
murdered by a party of the Noncomformists in Fife. In conse- 
quence a general arming of the kingdom was ordered, and the 
council of Brechin named David Donaldson, younger, then dean 
of guild, to be captain on the east side of the town, James Cowie 
to be lieutenant, and Francis Molison, ensign ; and for the west 
side of the town Laurence Skinner, late bailie, was appointed 
captain, William Gray, lieutenant, and Alexander Millar, ensign; 
the captains being authorised to choose their inferior officers. 
The valorous deeds of these heroes are not on record. Probably 
their labours were confined to pretty much the same duty as 
was discharged by the constables, who, till the establishment of 
a regular poliqe, were annually elected, and who were governed 
by officers bearing the same high-sounding titles of distinction 
which were given to the military gentlemen of 1679. The arms 
belonging to the burgh are subsequently stated to be twenty- 
seven halberts, ten muskets, nine pairs of bandiliers, '' and ane 
pudder home," five pikes, two half pikes, and five swords, "by and 
attour the three swords which the officers have." A quarter of a 
month's cess was also levied at this time for payment ^'of the 
militia at the rendezvouse," a body of troops difi^ering from the 


burgh soldiers in the same respect that the modem local militia 
differed from the volnirteers. The number of militiamen raised 
by the burgh is not mentioned ; but in 1685 John Strachan, 
William Crabb, and Oeorge Scott, shoemakers, along with a James 
TindaU, and a person bearing the appropriate name of David 
Cadger, fishmonger, are all admitted burgesses gratis, because 
they undertook to go out as militiamen from the burgh for seven 

These warlike preparations, however, seem not to have alto- 
gether abstracted the attention of the council from municipal 
affairs, for in October 1679 the passage, as it is termed, at the 
North Port, is ordered to be made up "for convenience of 
passage of carts over the bum and up to the Port ; " the Port 
being then situated at what is now the point of junction between 
the dwelling-house belonging to the North Port brewery and 
the house immediately south of it. Good drink also seems to 
have been worthy of notice about this period ; at least in May 
1680.this " David Donaldson, younger," so often mentioned, and 
whose death is recorded as having occurred in 1684, is com- 
missioned to go south, and endeavour to obtain a remission of 
the excise fines then imposed upon the malsters in the burgh, 
for "nonconformity'' to laws which have often been evaded by 
the inhabitants of Brechin since that period. 

In 1681 an Act of Parliament was passed, ordaining all per- 
sons in public office to take a certain oath to Qovemment ; and 
at the annual election of that year we find this oath recorded as 
sworn by the councillors and deacons of crafts of Brechin. The 
form is very solemn, though the right of the king to impose 
such an oath may be doubted by many in the present age. The 
swearers declare in presence of the eternal Qod, whom they invo- 
cate as judge and witness, that they profess the trae Protestant 
religion, contained in the Confession of Faith recorded in the 
first Parliament of King James VI. ; that they will adhere 
thereto, and will educate their children therein; that King 
Charles II. " is the only supreme govemor of this realm over 
all persons, and in aU causes as well ecclesiastical as civil;" 
that it is unlawM for subjects, upon pretence of reformation or 
any other pretence whatsoever, to enter into covenants and 


leagues, or to assemble to treat of any matter of state, civil or 
ecclesiastical, without his Majesty's special command or express 
leave ; and that there was no obligation on them by the Solenm 
League and Covenant The council of this period do not seem 
to have been of the same mind with the English gentleman, 
Bichard Eumbold, who, when on the scaffold for rising in arms 
against James II., declared that "he never believed the gene- 
rality of mankind came into the world bridled and saddled, and 
the rest booted and spurred to ride upon the multitude." 

Mr Robert Douglas was appointed bishop in 1682, when the 
council created him, ** Silvester Douglas his lawful son, Alex- 
ander Douglas, writer in Edinburgh, 'Mr Silvester Lanmiie, 
minister at Eassie, and James Lamb," the bishop's servant, bur- 
gesses. This was in August, and in the September succeeding, 
Mr Alexander Gardiner, minister at Girvan, and James Douglas, 
another of the bishop's sons, were received to the same honour. 
On 5th November 1683 the head of the Little Steeple was '* blowen 
ower," as the kirk-session records bear, and it was repaired at 
an expense which was equivalent to the price of twelve bolls of 
meal, as we show in an appendix, where we give the details of 
the curious expenses incurred. The injury done, therefore, had 
not been very serious. Bishop Douglas was succeeded in 1684 
by Bishop Caimcross, an able man of peculiar fortunes, who 
does not seem to have met with the same respect from the 
council as Douglas ; at least we see nothing said about him in 
the council records, except the fact of his having attended the 
head court, and taken the oaths to the king, in 1684, and he only 
remained in the see a few months, having been then promoted to 

Andrew Wood of Balbegno, incarcerate in the jail of Brechin 
in February 1683, gives the magistrates much trouble in conse- 
quence of having several times offered to the officers considerable 
sums of money by way of bribe to set him free ; and, therefore, 
the council write their agent in Edinburgh to endeavour to have 
Andrew removed to another town, and meantime they get the 
town-officers to renew their oaths of fidelity. The imprison- 
ment of parties for debt in the jail of Brechin has given much 
trouble to the council since 1683 ; but, happily, there is little of 


that sort of imprisonment now; and in Brechin there is no 
prison either for civil debtors or for criminals — ^the aecommodor 
lion in the police cells being merely for temporary customers. 

Every one who has witnessed the fairs held on Trinity Muir 
has noticed the array of halberts with which the council are 
guarded to the markets, and by means of which, when necessary, 
the decisions of the magistrates, given in the markets, are en- 
forced This guard is furnished by the incorporations of the 
town, each sending two men at Trinity fair, and one man at 
Lammas fair. The weapons with which the men are armed be- 
long to the respective incorporations. The array yet bears a war- 
like, although rather a burlesque appearance ; but in the period 
to which this chapter alludes, these men-at-arms were considered 
as strictly under martial law ; for it is solemnly recorded that 
two of the guard, in May 1683, ^' did mutiny under their arms, 'and 
disobey the magistrates orders, in consequence of which an Act is 
made to prevent the like in time coming. One of these mutineers, 
named David Duncanson, seems to have given, the magistrates 
no small annoyance on different occasions, and he ventured even 
to meddle with the bishop; for, on 3d September 1679, it is 
stated by the session that they had received a letter from his 
reverence, complaining of Duncanson '' for uttering imprecations 
against him and his family;" but whether Duncanson was 
troublesome from political or clerical reasons, or from the pure 
spirit of mischief, is not recorded, although it would rather appear 
that he waB merely a roving blade. Duncanson was, on the occa- 
sion of the mutiny, the guardsman sent out by the baker trade, 
and a baker himself — a craft which is severely censured in the same 
year for the insufficient bread offered to the public ; the craft 
then consisting of only ''two baxters," who are strictly prohibited 
by the town council from meeting together to cheat the com- 
munity. The other trades, however, come in for a share of the 
ban of 1683. The minute of council immediately foUowiog 
that regarding the mutiny, states that the town was then very 
ill served for want of good craftsmen, by reason of the exorbi- 
tant entry fees demanded ; and enacts that, in time coming, the 
full fees of admission to the hammmerman, glover, shoemtiker, 
and weaver trades, should be £20 Scots ; and to the baker and 



tailor trades, twenty merks ; and that any sufficient craftsman 
tendering the entry-money then enacted, should be entitled to 
exercise his trade, though his craft refused to receive him a 
member of their body. It is melancholy to observe that, in 
July 1684, Walter Jameson, ** church-master," as the treasurer 
was then designated, is directed to give David Duncanson a 
boll of oatmeal, and that in 1685 the children of Duncanson are 
admitted to the benefit of the hospital as a fatherless family left 
in want. This is generally the result with persons of such 
character as Duncanson. 

The bridge of Brechin was repaired in 1684, chiefly at the 
expense of the council, who were obliged to borrow money from 
the kirk-session to meet the heavy disbursements. The extent 
of the repair is not mentioned, but the record bears " that the 
workmen have been at it for a long time," and the voluntary 
contribution expected for the defraying of the expenses not being 
come in, the money was borrowed " lest the work should be 
delayed, and therethrough miscarry." The session minutes 
state that on the 19th January 1684, there were collected at the 
church of Brechin £31, 13s., Scots of course, " to help to repair 
the bridge of Brechin;" while the presbjrtery records of the same 
year bear that the clerk was instructed to deliver to the town 
treasurer of Brechin the money collected by the " several min- 
isters and sessions " for repair of the bridge, the amount not 
being mentioned. The repair, however, then made was not 
complete, for, in December 1686, the council state "that the 
rail of the bridge of Brechin has been this long time in an ill 
and dangerous condition both to strangers and others, being 
broken down and fallen to the ground by the violence of the 
wind in November 1683, which is a great reproach to the 
town ; " and, therefore, for removing of this reproach, Thomas 
Scott is ordained to repair the bridge, and " to have thretty 
punds for his pains, and his freedom to the town." Again, in 
1691, the bridge is appointed to be put to rights ; but the work 
must have been executed in a very slovenly manner, if executed 
at all, for in 1695 the " east ravell," (eastern protection wall) 
is found to be very ruinous, and ordered to be repaired ; and in 
1707 the whole " ravell" is directed to be amended. A pro- 


periy at Meikle Mill which belonged to the late Mr John 
Symmer, dyer, was held in feu of the town council for payment 
of a small sum annually, and under the obligation of keeping 
the caulsetoay (roadway) of the bridge in repair ; but this latter 
obligation was taken out of the last charter granted to Mr 
Synmier in 1833. Amongst the records of Arbroath there is a 
disposition granted by Stephan, son of Stephan of Kinnardesley, 
about 1220, in which he dispones to Gregory, Bishop of Brechin, 
for the sustentation of the bridge of Brechin, and the mainte- 
nance of the chaplains praying for the dead, his lands of 
Drumsleed, with all the pertinents particularly enumerated. 
The bridge of Brechin was not the only public work to which 
the attention of the inhabitants of Brechin was directed. In 
1661 a collection was made for the erection of ''two necessary 
bridges to be built over the waters of Esk and Prossin ; " on 
24th June 1668, the session of Brechin gave £4 to help to build 
the bridge of Idvie ; in April 1670 a collection was made to 
assist in repairing and rebuilding the shore and harbour of Dun* 
dee, " which was destroyed and ruined in one night by a stormy 
tempest of the sea ; " in January 1673 a collection was made 
" for the burning in Coupar of Fife ; " the sum of £38, 4d. was 
raised in 1679 for the burning there was at Glasgow, although, 
from various causes, the money was not paid over till 1682 to 
" David Bose, collecter of the general contribution throw the 
whole kingdom for building the bridge at Endersonne ; " and on 
6th June 1680, the bishop ordered a c(dlection to be made 
*' through the presbytery" for repair of the bridge of Stracathro, 
to which the Brechin session willingly assented and appointed 
£6 Scots to be given " as their proportional part." But these 
were not the sole purposes for which collections were made. 
Although the spirit of the times ran hard against liberty of con- 
science, yet the impropriety of slavery and the right of the 
liberty of the person were fully admitted, abstractly at least, and 
the sufferings of those in bodily captivity met with Christian 
qonpathy. On 6th March 1678, the sum of £64, 14s. 4d. Scots, 
no mean sum, was collected in the cathedral church " for the 
uae of the prisoners of Algiers;" and again in March 1682, 
were gathered for " Francisco Polanus, a Grecian, his brethren 


and sisters in Turkish captivity," £22, 10s. 4d. Indeed, during 
the Episcopal reign of Bishop Haliburton, we meet with many 
liberal collections for the like generous purposes. 

The discipline of the church appears to have been very severe 
and strict about this time, for one woman is ordered to stand all 
night in jail for scolding an elder, and another is recorded as 
having occupied the " place of public repentance " no less than 
fifteen times successively before being " absolved." The oflfenders 
nevertheless continued numerous, and no small portion of the 
income of the session was derived from fines. Another source 
of revenue, and a far pleasanter one, was the contributions made 
by parties when the nuptial knot was tied. In July 1685, the 
kirk-session enacted that the elder who collected on the Sabbath 
should attend all the marriages of the week ^' for gathering the 
collections," an appointment which would be very agreeable to 
those members of session who liked good cheer. Numerous Acts 
were also made about this period by the bishop and town's 
session in favour of individuals for the erection of desks or pews 
in the cathedral, all of which were specially directed to be 
wainscot. It will be observed that cathedral churches originally 
were open to every comer, and that there were few or no per- 
manent seats in the church, each person being content to stand 
or bring his seat with him, and assume such place as he could 
find unoccupied. This is yet the case with the cathedrals in 
England and on the Continent. The setting aside of special 
seats in the body of the church to individuals is first mentioned, 
so far as we have noticed, in the records of the landward session, 
on 10th February 1658. 

The oath we have alluded to, commonly called the test oath, 
was sworn in Brechin for the last time in 1685 ; and it then, for 
the first and last time, contained the name of James VII. In 
1686, the election of any new Qiagistrates or council was dis-- 
charged by a letter from the Earl of Perth, Lord Chancellor of 
Scotland, and the existing office-bearers were directed to continue 
their functions. The same arbitrary measure was resorted to by 
the infatuated James in 1687 and 1688 ; but in the end of 
that year, this monarch, the last of the long line of Stewarts, 
was dethroned, and William Prince of Orange, and Mary his 


wife, the daughter of James, were called jointly to the crown of 
Great Britain under the title of King WiUiam and Queen Mary. 
A minute of the town council of Brechin of this period is so 
characteristic of the state of the kingdom, that we prefer copying 
it verbatim to giving any abstract of its contents. The minute 
thus proceeds : — " Brechin, the 28th December 1688 years ; con- 
vened in the town council of the said burgh the persons after 
named — viz., James, Lord Bishop of Brechin ; James Allan, Laur- 
ence Skinner, and James Cowie, bailies ; Francis Moleson, dean 
of guild ; David liddell, James Henderson, David Gray, Alex- 
ander Young, David Stewart, John Hendry, Alexander Dall, 
Alexander Jamieson, John Low, councillors: Who taking to 
their consideration heretofore and at this time, how frequently 
the whole kingdom ia alarmed by ttie noise of invasion of Papists 
from France and Ireland, and of assaults and insurrections by 
Papists within this kingdom, have, conform to the practice of 
other burghs of the kingdom, put this burgh under arms, to be 
in a posture and condition of defence to join with the rest of the 
shire if they should be called. And by several proclamations 
through the town, ordered all the fencible men, free and unfree, 
within the town, to keep their several rendezvous well armed. 
And as it is known and complained of by several who gave due 
obedience that there were several persons able of body and 
means who made no appearance, and some others does appear 
in the fields but had no arms; therefore, for their contempt, 
and in example to others to disobey in time coming, ordains 
them to be poinded to the value of ten pounds Scots money for 
ilk day's contempt. Whilk sum, so to be poinded for, is to be 
employed and bestowed for buying of powder and lead, to be 
distributed by the magistrates to those in the town who have 
muskets and firelocks when occasion shall offer. And it is further 
enacted, that whoever shall be convicted of being absent at any 
rendezvous without a good and lawful cause to be allowed by 
the town council, shall amit, lose, and forfeit the privilege of a 
burgess until he buy the same anew at the highest rate used 
within this burgh ; and besides to be poinded for the said ten 
pounds for ilk day's contempt. And further, it is enacted for 
the better and easy convening and rendezvousing, that the town 


be divided in four companies under the command of four cap- 
tains, who are to choose their under officers, for whom they 
will be answerable, to which captains aftemamed the rolls of 
their several companies are delivered, who are to take care of the 
particular arms of ilk man under their command, and to report 
the same to the bailies and council ; and if any person or persons 
be deficient any day without a lawful and good excuse when the 
company is called or convened by authority, the several captains 
are hereby warranted to poind for the said sum of ten pounds, 
for which they are to be accountable to the magistrates and 
council, they having always allowance of the third part thereof 
for their under officers and nightly guard. Captains names are 
John Donaldson, captain ; Alexander Young, captain ; Walter 
Jamieson, captain ; James Low, captain." Such were the pre- 
parations of the bishop, the town council, and community, pro- 
bably made by the different parties in different spirits. All 
were hostile to the Roman Catholics, and some possibly to King 
James ; but the bishop was a determined opponent of, and no 
doubt authorised these preparations in the hopes that they would 
be effectual against, the Prince of Orange. The bishop of this 
period was James Drummond — a near relation of the Earl of 
Perth, who was a Papist; but the bishop is reported to have 
been a man of strict Protestant principles, and a decided oppo- 
nent of King James's interference with the Church, although he, 
like most of his brethren, was a keen supporter of hereditary 
monarchy, and took a decided part with King James when most 
of his other courtiers deserted him. Bishop Drummond, therefore, 
no doubt, meant this arming to be for protection of James and 
the support of his throne and power ; but others, if we may 
judge from their conduct on the accession of King William, 
intended it for a very different purpose. With this minute 
terminates the appearance of the bishop in council, and with 
this minute may be said to terminate the reign of Episcopacy in 
Brechin. William and Mary were, in April 1689, declared 
monarchs of Scotland, and with their accession closed the 
supremacy of Episcopacy in Scotland. The rental of the see at 
this time was 293 bolls 3 firlots victual, (wheat, here, meal, 
and malt,) and £941, 13s. 4d. Scots money, besides 500 merks, 


payable by Scott of Ancrum, and some small feus from tene- 
ments in Brechin. 

Bishop Drummond preached in Brechin for the last time on 
Sunday, 14th April 1689 ; his text was taken from the 12th 
chapter, Ist verse, of Paul's Epistle to the Bomans, a text which 
does not imply Drummond thought this sermon was the last 
which would be deliTered by a bishop in the cathedral church 
of Brechin, but a text which seems to have been a favourite one 
with him, as he is recorded as preaching from it on a previous 
occasion. Whatever may have been the feelings of the bishop 
and his clergy in regard to the person of King James YIL, they 
do not appear to have approved of his policy ; for, on 16th May 
1689, they hold a solemn '' thanksgiving for deliverance from 
Popery " — Mr Lawrence Skinner preaching from an appropriate 
text. Again, in the October of the following year, a " sermon 
of thanksgiving'' is preached ''for the King's arrival from 
Ireland,'' and the texts adopted forenoon and afternoon by the 
Messrs Skinner are evidently meant to be applicable to Jameses 
then presumed condition, although the statement of his arrival 
from Ireland proved to be a mistake. 

It may not be out of place to remark that the Episcopacy of 
this era was of a very moderate cast. Dr Bussell, in his edition 
of Keith's EUstory of the Scotch Bishops, tells us that '' all the 
moderate Presbyterians attended the Episcopal worship and 
communion in the parish churches ; and in fact, at the period 
in question, there was scarcely any outward distinction between 
the two parties in faith, in worship, or in discipline." — " With 
regard to discipline, the Established Church of that day had their 
kirk-sessions as the Presbyterians have at present; they had 
their presbyteries too, where some experienced minister of the 
bishop's nomination acted as their moderator." Such was the 
Church which King WiUiam put down, much it is believed 
against his own inclination ; but the bishops refusing to recog- 
nise him as their sovereign, policy called for the establishment 
of Presbjrterianism as the national religion. The officiating 
clergymen of Brechin at this date were Mr Lawrence Skinner, 
and Mr John Skinner his son ; and in continuing to officiate as 
clergymen after the removal of the bishop, they laid themselves 


open to no cliarge of change of doctrine. Mr Lawrence Skinner 
was originally doctor of the grammar-school, afterwards minister 
at Navar, and was, as we have already seen, nominated minister 
of Brechin in 1 650, in which office he continued to labour till 
his death in 1691. Looking at the texts which are recorded in 
the session minutes as those from which he preached on the 29th 
May, the birthday and anniversary of the restoration of Charles 
II., we should say he was a determined loyalist. And this is 
made still further evident, when on 5th September 1689, after 
the Convention of Estates in Scotland had declared James VIL 
to have forfeited the throne, he preaches from the text of the 
14th chapter of Jeremiah and the 17th verse, which we leave our 
readers to consult for themselves. Mr John Skinner, again refus- 
ing to sign the test required when Presbyterianism became com- 
pletely predominant, was deposed in 1695, but he remained about 
Brechin, and appears to have had no little influence amongst his 
flock notwithstanding of his deposition, as we shall afterwards see. 

As already noticed, there appears to have been a violent storm 
of wind in November 1683, for the kirk-session records of the 
6th of that month bear that " By order from the session there 
was ane hundredth merks lifted, which was in the Cordiners' 
hands, (the shoemaker trade,) for the repairing the head of the 
litl speej)le, blown ower on the 5th day of this month, and for 
other works about the kirk, in regard the kirk-master was super- 
expended, as his last accompts will show." The same minute 
directs payment ** to James Kinnear Is. 4d. for mending a hoU 
in the porch door." The session therefore at this time had de- 
frayed the expense of all repairs on the church. 

The board in the session-house, previously referred to, 
records that in " 1690 Master John Glendei, Dean of Cashels, 
and prebend of Sant Michaels of Dublin in Ireland, gifted £40." 
We have been unable to learn what connexion Mr Glendei had 
with Brechin, but likely he had been a native of the city, for the 
name, now written Glendey, is still common in the town. Be- 
sides this donation to the session, Mr Glendei in 1697 mortified 
£120 sterling in the hands of the United College of St Andrews, 
to found a bursary for young men belonging to Brechin ; and 
the bursary, which now yields £7, 168. 8d. annually, was to be held 


for nine years, and often was of importance to students pro- 
ceeding to St Andrews from Brechin. However, the royal com- 
mission which visited all the colleges some years since ordained 
that it should be lawful for the patron of the Glendey bursary 
" to present thereto any person, without restriction as to kindred 
or place of birth;" so that Brechin has ceased to have any 
particular interest in the matter. 

In the spring of 1689, Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount 
Dundee, attempted a rising in favour of King James, which was 
closed by the battle of Killiecrankie, at which this famous cham- 
pion of national conformity in religion terminated his career — 
a career held by some to have been glorious, and by others in- 
glorious, but admitted by all to have been bloody, if not cruel. 
On the 22d August 1689, there is an entry in the session re- 
cords stating that there was " no sermon on the Sabbath day by 
reason of the Highlanders who are roving the country ; " and in 
the June of that year the council enact that, as the inhabitants 
are extraordinarily oppressed for baggage horses to transmit 
English forces to the north and back again, **this place being 
the public road," a month's cess should be raised to remunerate 
such of the citizens as were compelled to this service. A reason 
assigned for this taxation is that the public purse was low, or, 
as the phrase is, that '' the common good of the burgh is far at 
under," in consequence of the expense of rebuilding the common 
mill. The meal mill of Meikle Mill, therefore, had been rebuilt 
at this time, and as it stood till 1808, when a new mill house 
was erected, this building had existed for a hundred and twenty 
years. Eheu 1 this last erected mill house is now degraded into 
a store for rags for the lise of the paper mill. 

On the accession of William and Mary, the town councils in 
Scotland were restored by poll elections ; but in the burgh of 
Brechin, where the bishop had acted as provost, and also named 
one of the bailies, while Lord Panmure chose another bailie, and 
the council only elected the third ; and where there was now no 
bishop, and consequently no bishop's bailie, (James Alan, by the 
by, the bishop's bailie having disappeared from the council along 
with Bishop Drummond,) a poll election could scarce restore the 
magistracy. This, at least, was the statement made to the 


Privy Council by the gentlemen who remained in office, and the 
Privy Comicil in consequence gave the remaining councillors 
power to choose a new council, and to dispense with the election 
of a bishop's bailie. Perhaps there was a lurking suspicion in 
the minds of the councillors that a poll election might have ter- 
minated unfavourably to them, for no doubt the bishop had left 
a party in Brechin friendly to his side of politics. This idea is 
confirmed by finding that in October 1689, the council made 
preparations for the maintenance of two troops of horse sent to 
quarter in Brechin that winter, likely to keep the friends of the 
bishop in order ; and the military seem to have been continued 
in the burgh for some time, for in 1695 the commissioner to 
the Convention of Burghs is directed " to make moyan to get off 
the thrie companys of foott sojers presently quartered at this 
place." On 21st August 1690, we have recorded by the session 
that there was " no sermon on the Lord's-day, by reason of the 
armies coming into the town ; " and the burgh registers show 
that in the following September Lord Cardross, Lord Belhaven, 
and a number of gentlemen, officers in Greneral McKay's troops, 
were entered burgesses — a compliment likely intended to pro- 
pitiate the Government of King William, and bestowed on these 
persons when in Brechin. Soon afterwards other officers are 
admitted to the same honour, amongst whom is a Dutchman 
named Gerardus van Catenburgh. Possibly, as James Earl 
Panmure was a high cavalier, the quartering of troops in 
Brechin was the more necessary. At any rate it would appear 
that Lord Panmure and the council were then not of one mind, 
for his lordship appointed James Cowie not only to be bailie 
and his justiciar and constable within the burgh, but he gave 
him power to sit and affix courts and choose all necessary mem- 
bers of court, and to uplift and receive the fines and bluidwits, 
thus claiming for Bailie Cowie a power superior to, and inde- 
pendent of, the other magistrates ; and that too contrary to the 
arrangement made between the town and the family of Panmure 
in 1635, and agreement following thereupon in 1637. The 
council resisted and appealed to his Lordship, who issued another 
deputation '* in the old and ordinary form,*' and matters then 
went on as smoothly as usual. Mr Francis Molison, who sue- 


ceeded Bailie Cowie as justiciar, was the first member of council 
who took the oaths to the new Government ; and having brought 
a letter certifying this fact from Mr James Muddie, member of 
Parliament for Montrose, and bailie of that burgh, Molison then 
administered these oaths to the other members of council. 

In 1691, David Falconer, Esquire of Newton, attempted to 
establish a fair at the North Water Bridge, in opposition to the 
great f au-s held by the burgh in Trinity Muir. This was an 
encroachment on the rights of the city not to be tolerated ; and 
accordingly the burgesses dispersed the laird of Newton's friends 
by main force. For this some twenty or tMrty of the inhabi- 
tants were cited before the privy council as guilty of riot ; but 
the case was taken up by the town council, manfully resisted for 
years, and finally carried in favour of the good town. In com- 
memoration of this victory, the burgesses, when they were wont 
to '* take in the market," or open the fair, used to ride to the 
North Water Bridge, cut a besom of birch there, and bring it to 
the cross of Brechin with them, in evidence that they had boldly 
swept the road of all encumbrances. A good deal of fun and 
humour prevailed on these occasions. It was deemed an honour 
to cany the besom, but an honour which must be bought ; and 
all the burgesses present at the North Water Bridge were ex- 
pected to bid for the honour, commencing with the oldest and 
going down to the youngest, and to the youngest generally the 
honour was consigned, as a second hode was not expected from 
any person. The last time when the market was thus opened 
was in 1823. On this, perhaps the last occasion of the kind, the 
besom was bought and borne by Mr William Sharpe, then 
surgeon in Brechin, afterwards a bailie of the burgh. We re- 
member with no small pleasure the delight which we took in our 
boyhood in witnessing the horsemen surrounding the ring at the 
cross, the riders and animals decorated with birks ; and we have 
a little pride in recollecting that in maturer years, we were called 
on to prepare and superintend the progranmie of this mighty 
affair — ^more profitable matters have not given us more pleasure. 
Might not the marches be yet ridden, or the market " taken in " 
occasionally, for the amusement of such burgess bairns as our- 


Most of our readers will be acquainted, " practically," with 
the Little Mill stairs, a lane leading from the High Street down 
a precipitous bank, and by an alley overshadowed with trees, to 
the river Esk — ^altogether a romantic walk, aflfording a beautiful 
view of the church of Brechin, with a peep of Brechin Castle ; and, 
although lying in the middle of the town, having all the stillness 
and rural scenery of a remote country situation. On the south 
side of the point where the lane leaves the High Street is a rising, 
which was formerly called the Mealhill ; and at the foot of this ris- 
ing was a mill for grinding meal, driven by water taken from the 
Den Burn, into a reservoir at the place stiU called the Dam Acre, 
and then brought by a runlet through the town and precipitated 
down the steep bank to drive the Little Mill. This Little Mill, 
like minor states, was finally swallowed up by its larger neigh- 
bour the Meikle Mill ; and in September 1693 the council, find- 
ing the Little Mill then useless, directed it to be converted into 
a waulk-mill, which also was ultimately abolished and the site 
reduced into garden ground. On the occasion of the conversion 
of the Little Mill into a waulk-mill, the lane passing down the 
ravine was causewayed, or pitched, as our "ancient enemies of 
England '* term it ; and agreeably to the orders of the magistrates, 
" two or three steps of" broad quarry stones were laid imme- 
diately beneath where the Little Mill stood, where George Matthie 
has now a dwelling-house and weaving-shop, " in respect of the 
straightness of the passage there." Recently the steps have been 
enlarged, the causeway removed, and a comfortable road formed, 
leading down to the river. 

Mr Harry Maule of Kellie, of whom we have before spoken, 
was at this time the parliamentary commissioner for Brechin ; 
and in April 1693, BaQie Francis Molison is appointed to go to 
Edinbiu'gh to meet Mr Maule and to endeavour to procure a rati- 
fication of the grant made to the burgh at the time of the aboli- 
tion of Episcopacy in 1640 of the feu-duties belonging to the 
bishop ; to resist any attempt made by Mr Falconer of Newton 
to procure a right of holding a market at the North Water 
Bridge ; and to endeavour to get all Saturday and Monday markets 
abolished — the last being an object with the religious part of the 
community to prevent encroachments on the Sabbath, and to 


which object the attention of the town council of Brechin was 
repeatedly directed. Mr Molison was successful in all his commis- 
sions. In virtue of an Act of Parliament obtained in 1695, the town 
council have now right to all the feu-duties previously belonging 
to the bishop ; and the greatest part of the burgh owns the town 
council as their superiors or over-lords, either in virtue of this 
grant or of other titles belonging to the community. On 17th 
July 1695 also " our Soveraign Lord, with advice and consent of 
the Estates of Parliament, statutes and ordains that in all time 
coming there be a free fair settled and established yearly upon the 
Mure of Brechine called Trinity Mure, to begin the first Wednes- 
day of August and continue eight days." Under this authority 
the present Lammas fair is held, which, however, is now limited 
to the second Thursday of August yearly. 

In the year 1693 also, which seems to have been one of no 
little business, an Act of council was passed, prohibiting any of 
the councillors from revealing what passed at the council table, 
under the penalty of loss of their office of councillors, and of be- 
ing found incapable of holding any public office within the burgh, 
besides being fined in a sum of £20 Scots. The year 1833 saw 
the affairs of the council board made patent to the public. 

The marches of the burgh property continued to be a source of 
trouble in the seventeenth century, and they are still some trouble 
in the nineteenth. After several minutes in regard to giving off 
to Mr John Camegy of Cookston part of the Loan (uncultivated 
land) near that property, we find this gentleman and his eon diiFer- 
ing with some members of council on the subject, and almost taking 
masterful possession of the burgh. A minute dated 27th January 
1694, (Saturday,) appoints Bailie Alexander Young and Mr George 
Spence, town-clerk, to " take journey for Edinburgh on Monday 
next hYJive o'clock in the morning" to attend to a complaint 
preferred to the Privy Council by Cookston against the town 
council of Brechin and a number of the inhabitants. The next 
entry in the council books is dated 29th January 1694, which 
we find was a Monday, " 5 hours /orenoonj" that is, five o'clock 
morning — an hour at which we fear few of our modem councillors 
would choose to be called from their couches to attend to coun- 
cil matters ; but an hour, early as it is, at which we find most 


of the councillors present. A formidable minute is then made, 
and Bailie Molison, who appears to have been absent from the 
former sederunt, is conjoined with Bailie Young and Mr Spence 
in the Edinburgh commission. The record narrates minutely 
that young Camegy had, four years previously, struck Alexander 
Low, a burgess, in his own house " betwixt ten and twelve hours 
at night," and had broke BaiUe Cowie's cart, and therewith 
forced open his outer gate, then his hall door and the windows 
of his dwelling-house, and, finally, fired a gun at the worthy 
bailie when standing at his own window ; and that Camegy, 
being imprisoned for this riot, had broke the jail and come out 
of it with a cocked pistol and drawn sword ; for all which he is 
directed to be prosecuted. But the minute holds out the olive 
wreath, provided the bailies and town-clerk can agree with Cook- 
ston regarding the Loan ; and we rather infer that such agree- 
ment had been made, for next day " James Camegy, younger 
of Cookston,'* is created an honorary burgess along with some 
officers and other gentlemen, and we hear no more of the matter. 
Subsequently, however, we notice that this gentleman was as 
contumacious towards the kirk courts as towards the civil 
authorities ; and the session finding it impossible to procure any 
one bold enough to cite him before them for an alleged breach 
of discipline, were in 1707 obliged to apply to the presbytery to 
take up the case and to send officers from Montrose to execute 
the warrants. 

The African Company planned by William Paterson, a 
Scotchman, for the colonisation of the isthmus of Darien, met 
with many supporters in Brechin. This Paterson was the 
person who first suggested the idea of the Bank of England, and 
afterwards of the Bank of Scotland, but he was excluded from 
any share in these wealthy concems by men of greater influence, 
Paterson then turned his attention to the colonisation of the 
neck of land connecting the two great continents of North and 
South America, and after beating about for supporters, was 
finally, by the assistance of Fletcher of Saltoun, enabled to pro- 
cure an Act of Parliament incorporating a company by the name 
of '' The Company of Scotland trading to Africa and the West 
Indies," "with power to plant colonies, build forts, and govern the 


country to be colonised. There is little doubt the scheme would 
have proved successful, if King William had not, with that cool- 
blooded policy which disgraced his other qualities, thrown every 
obstacle in the way of the settlers of Darien, and ultimately left 
them to perish of hunger, lest the colony should prove a rival 
to the English East India Company. But at the outset the 
Scottish nation saw no difficulties. A mania prevailed for sub* 
scribing into the stock of the company, and the people of Brechin 
were infected by it. The council gave £100 from the common good ; 
and because no less sum was received by the company than £100, 
the books of the town council were laid open that the burgesses 
and the incorporations might subscribe such sums as they pleased, 
for which stock was to be bought in name of the magistrates for 
behoof of the subscribers. Accordingly very many availed 
themselves of this privilege; the guildry incorporation sub- 
scribed £50, 13 ladies gave £95, and 28 gentlemen £455, and 
no less than £700 went from Brechin to this unfortunate con- 
cern. To propitiate the people of Scotland towards the Union, 
a fund was set aside from the public purse to make good the 
stock of the company when England and Scotland were made 
one kingdom, by Act of Parliament, so that ultimately the share- 
holders lost nothing. 

Previous to this period, any very special Act of the town council 
was subscribed by all the members of council, and queer sub- 
scriptions occasionally they made, but ordinary Acts were not 
subscribed at all, the mere engrossing in the council record being 
deemed sufficient proof that they were the resolutions of the 
counciL In 1696, an Act was made and subscribed by all the 
members of council, declaring that in future the subscription of 
the preses of the meetiag should be sufficient to authenticate the 
minutes, and in 1698 the resolution was renewed ; but notwith- 
standing of this, the old practice was persevered in till 1700, 
when Mr John Doig became provost. A simflar practice pre- 
vailed amongst the different incorporations, and even the records 
of the kirk-session are not better authenticated. 

The town's privileges being ratified in Parliament in 1695, the 
council of 1696, on the motion of Bailie Alexander Young, re- 
solved that a provost should in future be elected, agreeable to 


the charters in favour of the burgh, and the resolution was sub- 
sequently followed up by the election of Mr Young to that office, 
since which time a provost has been annually chosen. This 
measure was succeeded by an attempt to gain precedence for the 
town's bailie over the bailie nominated by Lord Panmure, but 
after some sparring with his lordship, the council wisely enacted 
that in future the bailie selected by Lord Panmure should, in virtue 
of the resolution then adopted by the council, have the precedency. 

In 1697 the tolbooth was repaired, and a resolution adopted to 
repair the schoolhouse and cross, and to apply to the Convention 
of Burghs for money to assist in these measures. What cash, if 
any, was given, does not appear, but next year the council bor- 
rowed 1000 merks to assist the public purse in executing the 
repairs on the jail. 

The Common Den, which now, under the superintendence of 
Messrs Henderson, nurserymen, forms so beautiful a prospect 
from Southesk Street, formed in our young eyes no less pleas- 
ing an object when covered with the turf nature had bestowed 
upon it, and decked with the daisies and buttercups of nature's 
planting. The braes are beautiful, covered with dahlias, roses, 
and other equally lovely plants, but the Bonnie-brae was truly 
bonnie with the gowaii gUntkig out amongst the short thick 
grass, before Messrs Henderson put spade into the soil to convert 
it into a nursery. We repine not. The Den is improved. It 
is a source of revenue to the town, and affords healthy employ- 
ment for many of its inhabitants, and were it restored to its 
wonted wild state, we could not bicker up and down the braes 
as formerly, or leap, one after another, as in days gone by, the 
many wimples which were then in the bum, now covered over, 
nor toss our dyed and hard-boiled eggs with the same zest we 
did of yore. But we wander from our point. What we meant 
to say was, that in April 1698, an Act of council was made ap- 
pointing 40s. Scots to be paid yearly for each animal grazed on 
the Common Den, which appears to have been always appro- 
priated for the pastur^e of cattle belonging to the burgesses, 
and that out of the sums thus raised, £32 Scots were first to be 
paid to the town, then a proper salary to the herd, and the ba- 
lance, if any, to be handed over to the town-treasurer for the 


public use. The town's herd was a man of no little consequence. 
Each morning, at an appointed hour, he went through the town 
blowing his horn, a cow's horn, when every burgess who had a 
right of pasture, sent out his horse or cow ; and away stalked the 
animals from the one port to the other, gathering their fellows 
as they went, and followed by their noisy herdsman, who turned 
them all in at the foot of the Common Den, pastured them up 
to and out at the top, and returned them to their respective 
masters and mistresses at mid-day, to be again gathered out 
for afternoon pasture, and sent home by sound of horn in the 
evening. The volume of the records of the Hammermen In- 
corporation, previously alluded to, contains an entry, under date 
11th April 1 580, bearing that the bailies and council had elected 
Walter Erskine to be common herd till All-hallow day next, and 
therefore requesting all concerned to deliver their nolt into his 
custody, " as use is." In 1580 there is an Act of council ordain- 
ing the Common Den to be "hained" from 11th May to Mid- 
summer day, from the Gallowgate at the north to the road lead- 
ing to Montrose at the south, and no cattle to be allowed to be 
pastured thereon, evidently with the view of improving the 
grass. This practice of common pasture, with slight variation, 
continued till 1805, when the exclusive right of pasture was 
let by public roup to the highest bidder, by way of a tentative 
measure to wean the public from the practice of common pastur- 
age ; and after two or three such lettings, the Common Den was 
let in 1813 to the late Mr John Henderson, senior, and by him 
converted into a nursery. For some years previous to the Den 
being let for exclusive pasturage, the money collected from those 
who used the ground for common pasturage scarce paid the 
wages of the herd employed to take charge of the cattle ; and 
some burgesses even kept cattle without lawfully providing any 
other food for them than what was picked up by the animals 
from this common pasturage. The letting of the Den for a 
term of years was one of the first measures which improved the 
revenue of the town ; the letting of the bleachfield and mills for 
a series of years, in place of giving them oflT, as had long been 
the custom, on triennial leases, was the next great step which 
increased the income of the burgh. 




Presbyterianism was fully established in Scotland in 1700, and, 
with a very partial interruption, the Presbyterian clergy have 
exercised all the powers and enjoyed all the privileges of Estab- 
lished clergymen in Brechin since that time. The records of 
the Presbyterian kirk of Brechin are commenced with a sketch 
of the state of Church affairs in 1700, a sketch which we give at 
full length in preference to any abridgment, as it appears to 
have been the joint production of the committee of the presby- 
tery of Brechin appointed to attend to the settlement of all 
matters connected with the parish of Brechin. This sketch is 
in these terms: — "The church of Brechin being a collegiate 
charge, supplied by two ministers, the bishop in time of Epis- 
copacy did supply the vice and room of one of them two, either 
by himself or his chaplain preaching a diet in the Sabbath's 
forenoon ; and he that was called the second minister ordinarily 
preached the afternoon's diet. Episcopacy being abolished in 
Scotland in the year 1689, Mr James Drummond (who was then 
Bishop of Brechin) was laid aside, and his charge became vacant 
But Presbyterian government not being then fully constitute, 
and judicatories presently erected in Angus, Mr Lawrence Skin- 
ner, the Episcopal incumbent, who supplied the afternoon s diet, 
took occasion to possess the forenoon's diet also, having assumed 
his son, Mr John Skinner, to be his helper ; and thus the whole 
charge was possessed and supplied for some years thereafter, till 
the death of the said Mr Lawrence Skinner, which happened in 
August 1691, whereupou the said Mr John Skinner, his son, 
took possession of the whole charge alone, and continued preach- 
ing the whole day till the month of (blank) in the year 1695 ; 


at which time Mr (blank) Abercrombie, minister at Lauder, by 
virtue of a commission from the Presbytery of Dundee, took 
possession of the forenoon's diet of preaching in the church of 
Brechin, and declared vacant that charge formerly supplied by 
the bishop ; and thereafter the said diet was supplied by several 
Presbyterian ministers, the said Mr John Skinner still preach- 
ing in the afternoon, until the first day of August 1697 years, 
on which day Mr Ninian Lumie, minister at Preston, by com- 
mission from the presbytery of Dundee, did declare vacant the 
charge possessed by the said Mr John Skinner, and supplied the 
afternoon's diet of preaching also ; after which time both diets of 
preaching, forenoon and afternoon, were constantly supplied by 
Presbyterian ministers and probationers, until the month of 
March 1703, at which time Mr John Skinner foresaid, at his 
own hand, invaded the pulpit, and took possession of the after- 
noon's diet of preaching, and dispossessed the presbytery thereof 
Thereafter, the united presbyteries of Brechin and Arbroath, in 
conjunction with a conmiittee of the Sjrnod, did, in the church 
of Brechin, upon the third day of December 1703 years, by 
prayer and imposition of hands, solemnly set apart, consecrate, 
and ordain Mr John Willison, first minister of the (rospel there. 
There being no session constitute at the time of the said Mr 
John WilUson his settlement, the foresaid united presbyteries did 
appoint a conmiittee of their number to meet at Brechin from 
time to time, and take care of the concerns of said town and 
parish of Brechin instead of a session, and till such time as they 
should procure the legal establishment of a session there, as an 
extract under the hand of the presbytery clerk at more length 
bears, the tenor whereof is as follows : * At Brechin, December 
29, 1703, the united presb3rteries of Brechin and Arbroath, 
taking under their consideration the many scandals abounding 
in the parish of Brechin, and understanding by Mr John Willi- 
son, now minister there, that there is a necessity of setting about 
the establishment of an eldership in the place, for management 
of the poor's money, who are now at a great loss, Mr Skinner 
having deserted the landward session, with whom formerly he 
had met, as also for exercise of discipline against scandalous 
persons, and strengthening his hands in the work of the ministrj* ; 


therefore, for carrying on the foresaids ends, they do nominate 
and appoint their following members, viz., Mr George Wemyss, 
Mr James Forsyth, Mr John Glassford, Mr James Robertson, 
Mr John Willison, together with Mr James Kerr, clerk, to meet 
as a committee of the said united presbyteries: — and do hereby 
fully empower and authorise you to call before you all scandalous 
persons in Brechin, and order them to satisfy the discipline of 
the Church when required thereto, to take under their inspec- 
tion the case and necessities of the poor of the place, and to set 
about the constituting an eldersliip, either by ordination or ad- 
mission of such persons in the place as have been formerly elders, 
or been named to be elders, in Brechin, as they shall see cause, 
and to do every other thing they shall find necessary and ex- 
pedient for the exercise of discipline, for suppressing of vice 
and immorality, removing of disorders and irregularities, and 
strengthening Mr Willison s hands in the place : — and it is 
hereby also appointed that the said committee (of whose number 
three are to be a quorum) shall be answerable and accountable 
to the said united presbyteries in all their actings and proceed- 
ings, and shall produce their niinutes to them when called for ; 
and the said committee are appointed to have their first meeting 
to-morrow, at Brechin, against ten o'clock in the forenoon, with 
power to them to choose their own moderator and clerk, and to 
appoint the diets of their meetings afterwards as they shall see 
cause. Extracted furth of the records of the Presbytery by (sic 
Bubscribitur) James Kerr, elk. presb.'" This entry is suc- 
ceeded by the records of the committee of presbytery, acting as 
a session till February 1704, when a session is constituted from 
the members of the congregation. 

The Presbyterian Church government, thus re-established, 
does not seem to have commanded unanimous approbation — at 
least the town council talk very unceremoniously of " Mr John 
Willison and his pretended session ;'' and from various entries 
in the public records, it is evident the gentry in the neigh- 
bourhood were still favourable to Mr John Skinner, the deposed 
Episcopal clergyman. 

Mr Skinner seems to have put the presbytery to no little 
trouble before they got quit of him. In 1704 he was called 


before that church court, but he gives the members plainly to 
understand that he will continue to exercise the office of minister 
in the church of Brechin as he had formerly done, upon which 
the presbytery " declared the said Mr Skinner an intruder, and 
therefore to have no relation to the parish or congregation of 
Brechin." When this was intimated to Mr Skinner, he, as the 
records of the presbytery inform us, very abruptly threw down 
a paper, neither signed nor indorsed, and thereupon took instru- 
ments in the hands of the clerk, and " also at the same time 
delivered a double of the said paper to one John Spence, fiscal 
in Brechin, and took instruments in the hands of the said 
Spence," a contumelious way of speaking which does not show 
that the members of presbytery were then themselves in the 
mildest of moods. Various attempts at adjustment seem to have 
been made, recommended even by the Lord Advocate, but all 
apparently failed; and Mr Willison, the Presbyterian clergy- 
man, reported to the presbytery in 1705 that Mr Skinner had 
repossessed himself of the afternoon diet, and that he, Mr Willi- 
son, had been informed, that if he should adventure to retake 
the pulpit from Mr Skinner, he would be actually rabbled by a 
violent mob, who were resolved to support the Episcopalian 
clergyman, " to which they were not a little encouraged by the 
magistrates, who refused all concurrence or assistance to him, 
Mr Willison, on this matter." Energetic measures were resolved 
upon by the presbytery, and proceedings seem to have been 
conmienced in different courts of law, but still the matter hung 
up, and the affair is again and again adverted to in the records 
of presbytery, till finally, in 1708, a libel is raised against Mr 
Skinner, charging him as an intruder, and a preacher of un- 
sound doctrine. Mr Skinner declines the jurisdiction of the 
presbytery upon various grounds, all of which are repelled, and 
a number of witnesses being examined, the libel is found to be 
proven; and, finally, on 14th September 1709, Mr Skinner is 
deposed, a sentence which is subsequently enforced by warrant 
of the Court of Justiciary. In one of his papers, Mr Skinner 
states that he was '^ legally settled minister at the church of 
Brechin in the year 1687, as appears by my presentation, colla- 
tion, and instrument of institution," so that it would appear he 


had been twenty-two years a clergyman in Brechin. Mr Skinner 
resumed the pulpit of Brechin in 1715, during the brief rebellion 
raised by the Earl of Mar, and in 1722, as the presbytery records 
informs us, he attempted to open a ** meeting-house" in Brechin, 
but we find no mention of Mr Skinner in any public. records after 
this period, and we have understood that he left Brechin and 
went to Edinburgh, where he died about 1725. There can be 
no doubt that Mr Skinner was an intruder, and acting contrary 
to the laws of the land, but there scarce appears to be any ground 
for the other charges brought against him, and of this the pres- 
bytery themselves seem to have been aware, for, in 1709, they 
" shew Mr Trail (then clerk) that it is not the mind of the pres- 
bytery that the minutes of the process should be produced in 
open court" in the General Assembly. 

Mr Skinner being got rid of, the next step was to fill up the 
vacancy in the church of Brechin, for which purpose the presby- 
tery named two of their number ** to speak to the magistrates 
and desire them to call some fit person in time, and appointed 
also letters to be written to the landward heritors about the same 
business." The magistrates, however, did not pull with the 
church courts, and in March 1710, the presbytery find that the 
right to fill up the vacancy had fallen into their hands, and they 
therefore choose Mr William Trail, probationer, and appoint a 
call to be drawn up to him; but Mr Trail "because he had 
heard the people in Brechin were dissatisfied with him upon the 
account of his voice," declined the office ; and therefore the pres- 
bytery " resolved to give a call to Mr John Johnston as soon as 
possible, seeing the people of Brechin are so desirous of him." 
Mr Johnston was in consequence ordained minister of Brechin, 
upon the 18th of May 1710, since which time the church of 
Brechin has had two clergymen. 

We have formerly noticed that there were two sessions in 
Brechin, a landward session and a burghal session ; but by the 
exertions of Mr Willison, an Act of the Gteneral Assembly was 
obtained in 1708, uniting the two into one session, and since 
then there has been but one session in the parish of Brechin. 

Mr Willison was a very popular preacher in the Kirk of 
Scotland, a leading member in the local church courts, and a 


firm supporter of the kirk. His name still stands deservedly 
high as the author of the " Afflicted Man's Companion," written, 
as he himself says, " that the afflicted may have a book in their 
houses, and at their bedsides, as a monitor to preach to them 
in private, when they are restrained from hearing sermons in 
public." He is also the author of " The Mother's Catechism," a 
little work still in use, besides which he wrote two treatises on 
the Lord's Supper, and a variety of other religious works. Mr 
Willison was likewise the principal composer of the ** Impartial 
Testimony," a work held to contain a true statement of what 
were then deemed the principles of the Kirk of Scotland. Mr 
Willison's Presbyterian principles were not in accordance with 
the feelings of the people in Brechin ; and we are informed that 
he was persecuted in every way by the inhabitants, especially by 
those of the higher ranks, most of whom were violent Jacobites 
and Episcopalians. Mr Willison was translated from Brechin 
to Dundee, where he died on 3d May 1750, in the seventieth year 
of his age, and forty-seventh of his ministry. When he removed 
to Dundee he found it impossible to command the services of a 
Brechin carter to convey his furniture to his new charge, so 
violent was the prejudice against him. In his difficulty he 
applied to Mr John Guthrie, tenant of Kincraig, great-grand- 
father of Mr Alexander Guthrie, present provost of Brechin ; 
and Mr Willison received from Mr John Guthrie the assistance 
of which he stood so much in need. In 1746, the horses of Mr 
John Guthrie were seized by the Hanoverian party, to convey 
their baggage to the North, when the farmer of Kincraig posted 
to Dundee, and obtained from his friend Mr Willison a letter 
to the Duke of Cumberland, who, the moment he read the letter, 
caused the horses to be returned to Mr Guthrie. 

It is curious enough to find the Presbyterian Church drawing 
a revenue firom a Popish ceremony. In 1704, the session con- 
sidering that it is ordinary for people to cause toll the bells at 
the interment of their relations, fix the rates which are to be 
paid for doubling of the three bells, knelling of them, or knell- 
ing any of the bells. This practice, commenced in Popish 
times, and then intended to give warning to those within hear- 
ing of the bellft to pray for the souls of the departed, whose 

120 lll^TOR Y OF BRECHIN. 

bodies were about to be committed to the earth, continued down 
as late as 1807 ; when, in consequence of the bells having been 
frequently broken by this mode of tolling, the town council, at 
wliose expense the small bells then cracked were recast, pro- 
hibited the practice. 

Men 8 minds were still unsettled in regard to political matters, 
as well as in regard to church government, and a good deal of 
manoeuvring seems to have taken place in the burgh about the 
commencement of the century to gain the political ascendancy ; 
amongst which manoeuvres we may notice the resolution not to 
elect a provost, whereby the bailie nominated by Lord Panmure 
would have taken the chief direction as senior magistrate. But 
these plots were met by counterplots, and it is hard to say which 
party was right, when Queen Ann herself was hesitating between 
the Whigs who had called her to the throne, and the Tories who 
supported her exiled brother. Still the town council, although 
plotting with a view to the affairs of the State, found time for 
minor matters. Thus, in 1703, they strictly prohibit any one 
from casting feal in the Den, unless for the repair of the bow 
butts, that is, for repair of the butts erected in the time of 
James I., for the practice of archery, and retained as butts for 
ball shooting, till the late Mr. John Henderson superseded 
them by shooting espaliers on the same place. Next year 
the council make an ordinance, scarcely so legitimate ; for they 
ratify the whole former Acts of council, discharging the inhabi- 
tants from pursuing their neighbour inhabitants before any 
judicatory without the burgh. An Act more self-denying occurs 
in March 1705, when the council, " in respect that the town's 
common good is greatly emburdened," appoint that at all meet- 
ings " ordinary ale " shall only be drunk, " and no strong drink 
to be called for or paid on the public account." We have 
foi-merly adverted to the expense the burgh incurred in support- 
ing their member of Parliament. In May 1700, it is enacted 
that ** there be allowed to the present session of Parliament, and 
in all time coming, for the commissioner's expenses, thirty shill- 
ings Scots money for each day he is absent, and this besides the 
ordinary horse hire, back and fore, and no more to be allowed, 
and that for each day the commissioner is detained at the Par- 


liament allenarly.*' The right to elect a member to Parliament 
was then considered a burden^ instead of a privilege, as at the 
present day ; and the member, we see, was allowed his expenses, 
in place of being put to great cost in obtaining his seat, and 
maintaining himself in it, as is the present not very creditable 

On 1st May 1707, England and Scotland were legally united 
into one kingdom, under the title of Great Britain, and the Par- 
liament of Scotland was abolished. This measure created no 
little sensation throughout the two kingdoms. The town 
council of Brechin instructed their commissioner, Francis Moli- 
son, to vote in the Scotch Parliament for the " union betwixt 
Scotland and England, and for all necessary supplies by this 
kingdom," thus showing that the court party was then pre- 
dominant in the burgh ; but we have understood that the com- 
missioner disobeyed these instructions and voted against the 
union. The mode of electing the first member from this town 
to the British Parliament, is not made plain in the biu'gh 
records. It is stated, on 24th September 1707, that Provost 
Young is appointed '' commissioner to meet with the burghs of 
Aberdeen, Montrose, Aberbrothick, and Bervie; and that at 
Montrose the 26th day of September instant, anent giving in- 
structions to (blank) Scott of Logy, younger, who is to represent 
in the British Parliament, the 14th October next, the burghs of 
Aberdeen, Brechin, Montrose, Arbroath, and Bervie ; " and this 
is all which we learn from the record on the subject. In May 
1708, the council, in obedience to a precept from the Earl of 
Northesk, then sheriff of Forfar, nominated. Provost Young their 
commissioner, to go to Aberdeen on 26th May, and meet with 
the other commissioners from this district of burghs, and elect 
a member to the Parliament of Great Britain, summoned to 
meet at Westminster on the 8th July ensuing. Who was then 
elected member is not recorded. This mode of election continued, 
each of the five burghs presiding alternately, tOl the Act of 2 and 
3 William IV., c. 65, in 1832, put the election directly into the 
hands of the people, and conjoined Brechin with the other three 
Angus burghs, Forfar, Arbroath, and Montrose, and with the 
burgh of Bervie in Kincardineshire, in the right to return a 


member of Parliament. It may be noticed in passing, that the 
order of precedence adopted in convening the burghs for the first 
election of a member to the Parliament of Great Britain was 
** Aberdeen, Montrose, Brechin, Aberbrothock, Inverbervie ; *' so 
that the designation of the " Montrose District of Burghs" in 
the Keform Act, when Aberdeen had a member assigned to 
itself, is only carrying out the old designation of this district of 
burghs, notwithstanding that Arbroath certainly now is the 
largest of the whole. According to the order in which the 
shires were called in the Scottish Parliaments, Edinburgh of 
course stood first. Boss was the thirty-third and last, while 
Forfar stood the twenty-fifth. 

In 1709 all the burghs of Scotland were called upon to make 
returns of their setts to the Convention of Eoyal Burghs, and the 
following is engrossed in the council book of Brechin, as the 
then recognised constitution of the burgh, and as a copy of what 
had been sent to the Convention: — ** That the town council of 
the royal burgh of Brechin consists of thirteen members, where- 
of eleven merchants and free brethren of the guild of the said 
burgh, and two tradesmen, all residenters and inhabitants of the 
said burgh, they do out of the aforesaid number of eleven, elect 
and choose a provost and two bailies, a dean of guild, town- 
treasurer, and master of the hospital. There is no fixed day for 
the annual election of this burgh of Brechin, but either the 
town council of the said burgh, some time before Michaelmas, 
yearly, do appoint and fix a day for the same peremptorily, or 
otherwise, the provost or preses of the town councU for the 
time do call a council to meet at any time they think fit, some 
few days more or less as they please, not exceeding five or six 
days, and most frequently fewer days before Michaelmas, in 
order to choose a new council and leet the magistrates ; and 
then the old council elects the new council, and both old and 
new councillors leet two persons of the new council, in order to 
choose one of them provost ; and a leet also of four persons of 
the new council to the end two bailies may be chosen out of the 
same ; and cause public intimation thereof to be made by tuck 
of drum through the whole burgh ; and upon the day appointed 
for the election, the new council meets, and in conjunction with 


the six deacons of crafts of the said burgh, out of the foresaid 
leet of two persons for the provostry, do elect a provost for the 
ensuing year, and then, by virtue of a contract betwixt the 
Bishop of Brechin, Patrick Maule of Panmure, and the magis- 
trates and town council of Brechin in anno 1637, the Earl of 
Panmure, or any having right from him, being called, name a 
bailie out of the said leet of four persons so elected and chosen 
by the said town council of Brechin, and to which bailie he is 
obliged to give and grant deputation of the offices of justiciar 
and constabulary within the said burgh of Brechin ; and then 
the council and deacons of crafts, out of the remaining three 
persons, choose another bailie, and thereafter the council choose 
a dean of guild, treasurer, and master of the hospital for the 
ensaing year." Subsequently, in 1729, an Act of council was 
passed, declaring that in case of equality of votes, the provost 
had both a deliberative and a casting vote, and that the neglect 
to state this was an omission when transmitting the sett to the 
Convention. This sett was slightly altered at different times. 
The family of Panmure being forfeited in 1715, the council 
thereafter elected both bailies. In 1726, by an agreement with 
the trades, the deacon convener was received as one of the trades- 
men who were necessarily members of council ; and in 1820, 
by a like agreement, the incorporated trades were allowed to 
name both the trades' councillors ; and the guildry incorporation 
were authorised to elect their own dean, who was granted a seat 
in council. Of the thirteen members of council, ten continued 
to be self-elected, while one was elected by the guildry, and two 
by the incorporated trades, till the Act of Parliament, passed in 
1833, generally known as the Burgh Beform Act, placed the 
election of the whole councillors upon a new footing, and gave 
to the proprietors and tenants of houses rented at £10 the right 
and privilege of electing the town council. 

Mr John Doig, an elder of the Presbyterian Church, and a 
decided enemy of the Jacobites and of Episcopacy, had, in 1709; 
obtained the ascendancy in the councils of the burgh, and then 
held the office of provost. He is not much indebted to popular 
tradition, nor does he seem to have owed much to popularity 
during his life. No doubt he was a zealous and able man, and 


did many things for the well of the burgh, as well as for his own 
benefit. In 1709 he had an Act passed appointing the council 
to meet " each Monday by ten hours in the forenoon;" but if 
such weekly meetings took place, the transactions then discussed 
have not been minuted. In April 1712, a serious riot is re- 
corded as having occurred in the burgh, in which James Millar, 
deacon of the shoemakers, led on a party to " beat, blood, and 
wound in the head and other parts of the body, the said John 
Doig," and the ofienders are reconmiended by the council to 
the attention of the Lords of Justiciary. What was the result 
we are not informed. 

We have formerly mentioned that the cathedral church was 
not originally supplied with fixed seats, but that desks, as they 
are termed, gradually crept in after the Reformation. So late 
as 1715, we find applications made for liberty to fix seats in 
empty places in the church, and in 1710, the session appointed 
" intimation to be made to the people who take their chairs out 
of the church, that they who do so shall lose their ground 
right." In the subsequent year, 1711, the session, with the 
view of increasing the poor's funds, granted liberty to the par- 
ishioners to erect headstones in the churchyard ; but there is a 
strange dietinction drawn between the burgh and landward part 
of the parish, for, while the burgesses are allowed to erect head- 
stones on payment of 20s. Scots, the landward parishioners are 
ordained " to pay half-a-crown for the said privilege." 

The linen trade had by this time taken root in Brechin, and 
on 6th October 1712, Robert White and David Windrim were 
appointed by the council "to be stamp-masters of this burgh 
for stamping all linen cloth." Under various Acts of Parliament 
this ofl&ce of stamp-master was continued, and by the increase 
of the linen trade the situation came to be one of considerable 
emolument within the burgh ; but, in 1824, Parliament saw 
cause to abolish the practice of stamping linens, and it is believed 
that, since then, the linen cloth made has been fully as good as 
it was during the period when each web was measured, examined, 
and stamped by a public oflScer. When the council named the 
first linen inspectors, they also ordained " two stamps, bearing 
the town's arms, to be mdde and delivered to them for stamping 


of the cloth." The stamp which was used when the office was 
abolished, was a large Scotch thistle, with the name of the 
stamp-master and the word " Brechin" below the thistle. This 
same thistle, with the stamper's name and residence effaced, was 
long used in the office of the first printers in Brechin, as a decor- 
ation to the ballads which they occasionally issued from their 
press. These same printers, we may add, were, under the firm 
of Black & Co., the printers of the first edition of this work. 

In 1713, Brechin was the returning burgh for this district of 
burghs, and Provost Doig was then named commissioner ; but 
Bailie James Spence was named the commissioner to choose a 
member to the first Parliament of George I. in 1715, when 
Arbroath was the presiding burgh. In this same year, 1715, 
Mr Andrew Doig was sent commissioner to Arbroath to meet 
with commissioners from some other burghs, appointed, agree- 
able to Act of Convention, " to endeavour to adjust a plan for the 
conmion interest of the said burgh of Arbroath, so that the 
magistrates thereof may proceed to elect a dean of guild and 
council." This was with a view to the establishment of a guildry 
in Arbroath, but we presume the troubles which arose in Scot- 
land at this time had prevented the carrying out of this muni- 
cipal improvement then; for it was not till 1725 that the 
magistrates and town council granted a seal of cause to the 
incorporation of guildrymen, a legal recognition which they 
claimed in virtue of a charter of Novodamus by James VI. in 
1699. The guildry then constituted in Arbroath was framed 
after the model of the Brechin guildry ; and the Brechin guildry 
would now do well to follow the example of the Arbroath guildry, 
which in 1856 was formed into a friendly society by the autho- 
rity of the Court of Session, in virtue of the Act of Parliament 
for abolishing the right of excliisive trading within burghs. 

But we approach to " Mar's year," the attempt to restore the 
exiled Stewarts in 1715, for which so many plots and counter- 
plots had been carried on in the State, in every burgh, and in 
this our small city. Queen Ann died suddenly in 1714 ; George 
I. ascended the throne ; he was austere with the Earl of Mar ; 
that nobleman hastened to Scotland; raised the standai-d 
of revolt in Braemar; proclaimed James VIII. of Scotland 


and III. of England as king of Great Britian, and involved 
himself and many a noble family in ruin by a hasty and ill- 
timed rebellion. Earl Panmure proclaimed King James at the 
cross of Brechin, and joined the standard raised by Mar. Earl 
Southesk also joined this unfortunate attempt. Both forfeited 
their estates in consequence. Many of smaller name, connected 
with the burgh, also acceded to this rebellion ; and for years 
afterwards we find the kirk-session refusing church benefit to 
great numbers till they had satisfied the discipline of the kirk for 
joining this " unnatural rebellion.'* The session-clerk chronicles 
the rising very briefly and distinctly. After an entry, dated 31st 
August 1715, he says : — " In the month of September following 
broke out the late Earl of Mar's rebellion, against our most 
gracious sovereign, King Greorge, and the Protestant succession 
in his family, and in favour of a Popish Pretender whom they 
called King James the Eighth ; the which rebellion continued 
till the month of February thereafter ; and this is the reason 
why there was no meeting of the session from the foresaid thirty- 
first of August to the twenty-ninth of February thereafter." 

The records of the session of Menmuir show the distracted 
state of the times in a very interesting minute, of which this is 
a copy : — " 4th September 1715. After prayer, sederunt, ministers 
and elders met in session. This session taking to their serious 
consideration the troublesomeness of the times, and the distracted 
state of this land, and considering also, that they have in their 
hands the most part of the poor's stock in specie, and being very 
solicitous and concerned that it should be safe in this critical 
juncture ; therefore earnestly recommend to, and appoint tlie 
minister to secure and hide the poor s money the best way he 
can — vizr, the money received from GrandtuUie's factor, and a 
hundred poimds Scots received from Bailie Spence, in name of 
the Laird of Balzeordie. Sederunt closed with prayer. Where- 
upon the minister went to Brechin, and the Reverend Mr Jolm 
WiUison, one of the ministers of Brechin, did direct him to a 
retired and safe place for securing the said money ; upon which 
the minister returned home, and did communicate the matter to 
two of the elders, and with one of them did carry the money 
received from GrandtuUie's factor to the said place, and secured 

HI8T0R 7 OF BRECHIN, 1 27 

the other hundred pounds got from Bailie Spence, in name of 
Balzeordie, another way." This retired and safe hiding-place 
had most likely been somewhere about the church, not impro- 
bably in the bottom of the round tower. 

Mr Oideon Guthrie, an Episcopal clergyman, or nonjurant 
minister, as those of his persuasion were then generally termed, 
gave great offence to the Presbyterian clergymen at this time, 
and in August 1715, Mr Johnston, one of the Established clergy- 
men of Brechin, reports to the Presbytery " that the affair anent 
Mr Gideon Guthrie is come to this issue, that he is discharged 
to preach or exercise any part of the ministry within the parish 
of Brechin, under the pain of 500 merks, toties quoties, and 
further declared incapable, for seven years, of any post or bene- 
fice within Scotland, as also fined in 100 merks and ordered to 
go to prison till payment thereof, as the sentence in itself more 
fully bears ;" but in place of going to prison, Mr Guthrie went 
to the pulpit of Brechin, which lie and Mr Skinner jointly 
assumed possession of, for the brief period when their party was 
predominant during Mar's rebellion. For this proceeding, 
Guthrie was called to strict account by the presbytery when the 
rebellion was suppressed, but he seems to have fled from the 
effects of his rashness, and we hear no more of him after that. 
No proceedings apparently were adopted against Mr Skinner, 
whose age probably had mollified the feelings of his opponents 
in reference to him. 

Provost Doig was superseded during this rising — Bailie Spence, 
whom we have alluded to as the commissioner for electing a 
member of Parliament to the first House of Commons assembled 
by King George, having apparently assumed the sway of the 
town. On 29th September 1715, eight of the members of 
council meet, the whole council, as the minute bears, having 
been lawfully summoned " except John Doig, who could not 
be found at home," and these eight re-elect six of themselves 
with seven others of true Jacobite principles, and this Jacobite 
council then choose office-bearers, carefully, however, avoiding 
to elect a provost, an office which they probably held belonged 
to the bishop, whom doubtless they expected to see restored. 
Spence is named by Panmure to be his bailie, " justiciar, and 


constable," and thus Spence in fact acquired all the powers of 
chief magistrate. The minutes of this council are few, and only 
such as appear to have been forced upon them in ordinary routine. 
This council had more important matters to attend to than 
make minutes. On 11th May 1716, however, a poll election 
takes place in the church of Brechin, under the superintendence 
of John Scott of Heatherwick, Esq. ; Alexander Duncan of 
Lundie, Esq. ; and Colonel Robert Eeid, commissioners ap- 
pointed by Government ; when all our Jacobite friends are super- 
seded by Provost Doig and his party. The whole thirteen 
members of council are unanimously elected on this occasion, 
from which circumstance we may fairly infer that, in 1716, none 
dared vote but in such way as Mr Doig chose, without the risk 
of being reckoned Jacobites and enemies to the Government of 
King George. Previous to the poll election the town seems to 
have been ruled by Govetmors^ likely appointed by the Govern- 
ment of George I. Thus the mills, weighhouse, and flesh 
booths are exposed to let on 4th May 1716, in presence of " Mr 
Andrew Doig, one of the govemours of Brechine," and they are 
finally let on 7th May, in presence of " John Doig, Mr Andrew 
Doig, and Robert Whyte, govemours." We presume Mr Andrew 
Doig had been a literary man ; for while he always receives this 
title in the council minutes, the other members are designated by 
their simple names. The Doigs were a powerful family about 
Brechin at this time; and the board in the session-house 
records that Bailie David Doig of Cookston gave the church a 
new folio Bible in 1728, which we believe was in use till another 
was got when the church was repaired in 1807. Bailie Doig's 
Bible superseded that given to the church in 1655 by the Rev. Mr 
Lawrence Skinner, as recorded on the session-house board ; and 
we have it from tradition that Bailie Doig's book was given to 
supply the place of Mr Skinner's, because the latter was of a 
prelatic, if not of a Popish tendency ! 

But the session record gives the most graphic account of the 
state of matters, and we quote it at length, leaving our readers 
to apply such saving clauses as their own feelings may suggest: — 
" Brechin, March 4, l7l6. The session being constitute, sederunt, 
ministers, elders, and session clerk ut supra. This day the session 


taking to consideration that during the late unnatural rebellion 
the ministers were forced to retire for their safety, and the church 
was intruded upon by Mr John Skinner, late Episcopal incum- 
bent here, now deposed by the church and banished out of the 
bounds of this presbyteiy by a sentence of the Ix)rds of Jus- 
ticiary, and Mr Gideon Guthrie, late Episcopal preacher in the 
meeting-house here, and turned out by a sentence of the said 
Lords, and that John Doig of Unthank, the present provost, was 
imprisoned by the rebels, and Bailie Spence usurped a most 
lyinmcal poier over mei'e bodies and cSnaciences^d threat- 
ened and forced people to hear the foresaid rebellious intruders 
drink disloyal healths, and otherwise to countenance the said 
rebellion, and particularly did wickedly impose a base and 
traitorous oath upon the people, called the Test, in which, 
beside other absurdities and contradictions, they did swear to 
the Popish Pretender as king, and renounce our only lawful 
sovereign King George as a foreign prince, with which wicked 
impositions and base oath a great number of the people, and 
even several of (he elders^ have complied, either out of ignorance 
or slavish fear, or desire to shun suffering. And the ministers 
having laid this affair before the presbytery for advice, it was 
the presbytery's judgment that all the elders who had so com- 
plied and taken the foresaid oath, shoiild be discharged from 
the exercise of their function of elders, and for removing of the 
scandal that they and all others, guilty of the foresaid com- 
pliances, should not only confess their sin in so doing before the 
session, but appear publicly and acknowledge the same before 
the congregation, and that they and every one of them should 
do this before they be admitted to partake of sealing ordinances 
or church benefits. And the ministers having represented this 
day to the session that they had accordingly been dealing with 
the elders and a great many others, privately, who had made 
defection and sinfully complied as aforesaid, in order to bring 
them to a sense of their sin, and they being willing to compear 
and confess in manner above written, and for that end were 
attending this meeting of the session, in order to appear this 
day before the congr^ation, whereupon compeared (certain 

individuals who are named,) all which persons above mentioned 



professed their sorrow to the session for their said defection, 
and their willingness to acknowledge the same before the con- 
gregation and be rebuked therefor." But no "rebuke" was 
given, the session contenting themselves with the admission of 
their power to rebuke. With more contumacious spirits, some 
years afterwards, the session was more severe. 

The church records of the neighbouring parish of Stracathro 
are much of the same stamp. They state, under date 2d 
November 1715, that " Mr John Davie, factor to the Earl of 
Southesque, intruded on the minister's charge by taking the 
keys of the church, ordering the kirk-officer to ring the bells at 
the ordinary time of day, the people being warned the day 
before to wait on, and join in, the worship of a pretended fast 
or humiliation-day for success to the Pretender's arms, and that 
under the pain of taking each man, master and servant, to the 
camp at Perth ; which warning so prevailed that it brought the 
whole parish together at the time appointed to the church, 
where and when Mr Davie himself came in the head of near 
eighty men under arms, with beating drums and flying colours, 
and preached a little in the church, and after that kind of wor- 
ship was over, he mustered up his men again at the kirk gate, 
and on their front went to Kinnaird." Truly Mr Davie had 
been b, factor, and not a mere rent collector. The same minutes 
mention that during this intrusion, which continued to February 
1716, the minister preached in the manse, and the collections 
made being inconsiderable, he applied them " to the relief of 
some poor indigent people in the parish of Brechin" — true 
Hanoverians, no doubt. Order being restored, the minister, in 
April 1716, laid before the session an appointment on him by 
the presbytery of Brechin to inquire at them the reasons why 
they joined Mr Davie, ** and the minister finding their reasons 
no way satisfactory, he solemnly rebuked them," and also for 
their pecuniary intromissions with the collections, of which they 
were unable to give any account, further than it was spent on 
the poor. The minister, Mr Glassfurd, seems to have been in a 
minority in his own parish, 

James, " the Pretender," as it is known to the historical 
reader, landed at Peterhead on 22d December 1715 ; came to 


Brechin on Monday 2d January 1716; remained there till 
Wednesday ; then went to Perth and met his army, the mem- 
bers of which were as little pleased with him as he was with 
them. After playing the king at Perth for a brief space, James 
returned to Montrose, and from thence quitted for ever " his 
ancient kingdom of Scotland," having embarked with the Earl 
of Mar on the evening of 4th February 1716, on board a 
French vessel lying off Montrose to receive them. 

Tradition tells us that the northern lights were extremely 
brilliant during the winter of 1714-15, and we have ourselves 
received it from a person who was told by her mother, that, 
during this winter, armies of men and horses were seen fighting 
in the sky ! Our narrator believed this as much as she believed 
the holy writ, and said that all Mar*s fortunes and misfortunes 
were distinctly portrayed in the sky ere he himself had raised 
the standard of revolt. Truly might the fate of this nobleman 
be compared, in the words of Burns, to 

" the BorealU race, 
That flit ere you can point their place." 

So far 83 appears, Brechin became perfectly quiet after this 
insurrection was quelled. A company of soldiers was stationed 
in Brechin for some time, but these soldiers were more an an- 
noyance than a protection to the civil and ecclesiastical autho- 
rities. Provost Doig remained in office till his death in 1726. 
Bailie Spence died some time previous to 1722, for we find in 
that year his daughter, Miss Katherine Spence, designed as 
daughter of the deceased Bailie James Spence, elected to the 
office of schoolmistress, for instructing little ladies " in the arts 
of sewing and working of lace." Miss Spence is the first school- 
mistress of the burgh, and it is pleasing to observe Provost Doig, 
her father's opponent, voting her a salary of £30 Scots for her 
services. In this same year 1722, the meal-market was erected, 
in the street now called Swan Street, on the site of an old tene- 
ment purchased for the purpose. This erection, demolished in 
1788, led to the oiiening up of the street alluded to, which 
still occasionally receives, jointly with its new title, its old 
name of the Meal-Market Wynd, although the meal-market was 


removed about 1787 to the same place as the butcher-mar- 
ket, in a building a little below the Bishop s Close. The meal- 
market has been long non-existent, the trade being carried on 
by grocers and bakers in their private shops, and the place 
formerly used as the public meal-market being let for a ware- 
house. The butcher-market also is now non-existent, all the 
modem fleshers resorting to separate shops, and the court and 
covered sheds formerly occupied by them being now used on 
Tuesdays as a market for poultry, butter, and eggs, brought into 
town by the country people ; and the front part of the house, 
where carcasses were formerly hung in warm weather, being now 
wholly occupied as a public weigh-house, for which it was origi- 
nally intended, and always partially used. 

In 1723 the six incorporated trades established a general fund 
for the relief of their poor. It was agreed that this fund should 
be maintained by small contributions levied on each entrant 
freeman or apprentice, by fines imposed for offences against the 
rules of the corporation, and by a fine imposed in these words : 
" And if any prentice, journeyman, freeman, either yoimg men 
or widowers, shall (as God forbid) fall in the sin of fornication, 
then, and in that case, each person so transgressing shall pay 
into this fund the sum of two pounds Scots," to be doubled in case 
of aggravation. The fund has been long in abeyance, but we 
humbly think the six trades might do worse than apply their 
funds for the maintenance of such a charity. In 1726, as 
already noticed, an arrangement was made between the town 
council and the trades, whereby the council agreed to receive 
the deacon convener, ex officio^ as a member of council yearly. 
This arrangement was effected by a bond subscribed by. seven 
members of council only, and seems to have arisen out of a wish 
to give the superiority to the then dominant party in council ; 
but the agreement, although frequently questioned, was regularly 
acted upon, and so became part of the set of the burgh after its 
date, the convener, when changed by the trades, being as a 
matter of course changed by the council. 

The affairs of the guildry appear to have excited very little 
interest about this period. Year after year passes without any 
meeting, and even when a meeting does occur, a brief minute is 


entered as an apology for the neglect ; but in 1748, the members 
resolved to meet on the third Thursday of October yearly, a 
practice which has been pretty regularly followed ever since. 
The dean of this time was Mr John Lyon, a connexion of the 
Strathmore family, through that branch to which the estate of 
Aldbar for some time belonged. 

The north side and north aisle of the church having fallen 
into decay, the session, after much difficulty, prevailed on the 
heritors to repair the building in 1718, "the factors appointed 
by the Government on the forfeited estates of Panmure and 
Southesk promising to pay what lies to their share when called 
for.'' But this repair does not seem to have been complete, for 
next year the session demand a further repair on the steeples 
and aisles, an expense to which the heritors again demurred, 
but which they were ultimately compelled by " homing " to pay. 
Some of the items of the expenses of the repairs are curious as 
showing the price of building materials in 1722 ; they are thus 
stated in the Act of Presbytery on which the law proceedings 
followed : Thirty-two bolls of lime with the sand cost Is. 6d. 
per boll of lime, and 2a Scots for the load of sand to each boll, 
inde £32 Scots ; forty deals are 12s. Scots each ; three hundred 
nails are £2, 8s. Scots ; twenty garron nails, lOs. Scots ; " item 
for a big teakil, beiug double the hight of the small steeple, 
£40 Scots;" but this "big teakil," whatever that word may 
mean, and certainly it had been big, when it. was double the 
height of the small steeple — this teakil, after being used, is to be 
sold, cJongwith some other materials for scaffolding, at £33, 6s. 
4d. Scots. The slating is estimated to cost ten merks Scots per 
rood, and there being three roods and twenty-four ells of slater- 
work required, the expense of the roof is £2l!, 10s. Scots. The 
whole repairs, after deducting for scaffolding, &c., to be sold, are 
decreed to cost the heritors £380 Scots. 

In consequence of the disturbed state of the kingdom after 
1714, the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not celebrated in 
the church of Brechin for several years, but in 1720 the session 
" resolved to set about that work," and in the March of that 
year the ordinance was dispensed. The discipline of the church 
gradually grew stricter after this period ; and persons were now 


censured for faults which had for some time previously been 
looked over, the session having resolved "to revive their old 
laudable custom of sending some of their number through the 
several comers of the town every Lord's day." Marriages, up 
to this date, were usually celebrated in the cathedral, and we 
have various acts of the session censuring individuals whose 
mirth had overcome their prudence, and led them to behave in- 
decorously at such ceremonials. In 1717, however, marriages 
in private houses are recognised by the session, for there is a 
minute in that year imposing a small fine on parties who prefer 
to have the ceremony performed elsewhere than in church. A 
public marriage, in a Presbyterian kirk, before the congregation, 
would at the present day draw general attention — no such thing 
having occurred with the parents of any of the oldest persons 

Although Mr Skinner had now retired from the field, the 
Presbyterian kirk was annoyed by Episcopalian clergymen still 
visiting the burgh, and in 1726 the ministers of Brechin laid 
before the presbytery " a presentation against Masters John 
Grub and Francis Rait, who keep an illegal meeting-house in 
the town and parish of Brechin, and baptize and marry, to the 
great disturbance of the said town ; " a presentation which was 
subsequently enforced before the Lords of Justiciary to the effect 
of shutting up this meeting-house. 

Greorge I. died in 1727, and with the close of his reign we 
shall close our chapter. 

Amongst the poets of the period to which this chapter relates, 
we can notice, as connected with Brechin, David Watson and 
James Camegy. Mr Watson was born at Brechin in 1710, was 
educated at Saint Andrews, and afterwards became Professor of 
Moral Philosophy in Saint Leonard's College of that city, but 
retired from the Professor's chair when his coUege was imited 
with Saint "Salvador's in 1747. He then became author by 
trade, went to London, and fell a prey in 1750 to the dissipa- 
tion which was the ruling vice amongst the wits of that time. 
He published a translation of Horace of no mean merit, and a 
" History of the Heathen Gods," which, in our day, was a stan- 
dard school-book. Mr Carnegy was the son of the laird of Bal- 


namoon, where he was bom in 1715. He came of a good stock 
— ^in the moral acceptation of the word — and was himself a man 
of genuine worth and warmth of heart. In early life he com- 
posed the beautiful and still popular ballad of " Low Down in 
the Broom," adapted to a chorus of great antiquity, noticed in 
the ** Complaynt of Scotland,' written about 1540. Mr Camegy 
was a staunch Jacobite, and was out in 1745, after which he was 
obliged to consult his safety by living as a servant with one of 
his own tenants, till the Act of grace in 1748 restored him to his 
family and the world. 

William Guthrie, an eminent miscellaneous writer, was the 
son of Mr Gideon Guthrie, the Episcopal clergyman spoken of 
above, and was born at Brechin in 1708. In early life he com- 
menced author by profession, and removed to London in 1730' 
For many years he collected and arranged the parliamentary 
debates for the Gentleman's Magazine and other periodicals, and 
lived in habits of intimacy with Dr Johnson. About 1745, he 
managed to let it be known to Government that he was a person 
who could write well, and that it might depend on circumstances 
whether he should use his pen as the medium of attack or of 
defence. The matter was placed on its proper footing, and Mr 
Guthrie received from the Pelham administration a pension of 
£200 a year. On a change of the ministry, nearly twenty years 
afterwards, we find him making efforts for the continuance of 
his allowance. " The following letter, addressed to a minister," 
says Mr Bobert Chambers, in his '' Biographical Dictionary," 
"is one of the coolest specimens of literary commerce on record. 
June 3, 1762, — My Lord, In the year 1745-6, Mr Pelham, then 
first lord of the treasury, acquainted me that it was his Majesty's 
pleasure I should r^;e, tUl better provided for. which never 
has happened, £200 a year, to be paid by him and his successors 
in the treasury. I was satisfied with the august name made use 
of, and the appointment has been regularly and quarterly paid 
me ever since. I have been punctual in domg the Government 
all the services that fell within my abilities or sphere of life, 
especially in those critical situations which call for unanimity 
in the service of the Crown. Your lordship will possibly now 
suspect that I am an author by j^rofession — ^you are not deceived, 


and you will be less so, if you believe that I am disposed to serve 
his Majesty under your lordship's future patronage and protection, 
with greater zeal, if possible, than ever. I have the honour to 
be, my Lord, &c., William Guthrie." As a reward for his sub- 
mission to the powers that were, Mr Guthrie's pension was con- 
tinued to the day of his death, which took place on the 9th 
March 1770, in the sixty-second year of his age. His body was 
interred in the churchyard of Mary-le-bon, London, where a 
neat monument, which we have seen, erected to his memory, 
states him to have been " the representative of the antient family 
of Guthrie of Halkerton, in the county of Angus ^ North Britain," 
a statement erroneous at least in one respect, as to the locality 
of Halkerton, which is in Kincardineshire. Mr Guthrie's name 
is best known by his " Historical and Geographical Grammar," 
which had reached its twenty-fourth edition in 1818. Li 1765, 
he published, jointly with Gray and other literary men, "A 
History of the World," and in 1767 appeared his " History of 
Scotland," in ten volumes, in which, with true national fervour, 
he maintains the high antiquity of everything connected with 



The early part of the reign of George II. is not marked by any- 
thing peculiar. People had now begun to look on the exiled 
Stewarts as a family whose fate was no longer connected with 
that of Scotland, and the arts of peace engrossed the attention 
of most burgessea In May 1728, the council of Brechin re- 
sumed the practice, forborne for some time previous, of riding 
the inarches, and in the same year the Little Mill was utterly 
demolished, and the stones of it taken to repair the gainahott, or 
ginshot^ as it is soiQetimes called — the wall which defends the 
north-west side of the Inch, or public bleaching-green, from the 
ravages of the river South Esk. Next year the council took 
a more decided step ; they f eued off a piece of muir to John 
Ogilvy, under the name of ''LttUe Brechin,'* and this grant was 
soon followed by other feio. The numerous houses, which have 
recently cuisen there, promise fairly to realise the ideas enter- 
tained by the inhabitants of Muckle Brechin a hundred years 
ago. This village lies upwards of two miles north of the town 
of Brechin, about the centre of that tract of ground denominated 
** Trinity Muir," of which the town council of Brechin are the 
superiors. But the other feus which followed close on the heels 
of the one to Ogilvy, alarmed the incorporations that all the 
" common guid " was to be sold off. To quiet them, the council 
in 1729 voted a sum in name of a grant to the poor's box of the 
six trades, and as a consideration for their trouble in -riding the 
marches ! A new clock was, the same year, procured for the 
burgh from Alexander Grordon, silversmith in Dundee, at a cost, 
including extras, of £23 sterling; but the workmanship does 


not appear to have been fine ; for in 1736 £42 Scots are paid 
to " William Lawson of Ballewny," for repairs on this piece 
of machinery. 

The practice of granting indiscriminate burgess tickets con- 
tinued till this time ; so much so, that in 1732 the town-clerk 
is ordained to keep the provost always possessed of twelve blank 
tickets "to be disposed of at the discretion of the provost, or 
any of the magistrates." 

The ports of the burgh, which had been repaired in 1709, were 
in a ruinous and dangerous condition in 1733 ; but they were 
then repaired by " pinning and harling," under directions of the 
magistracy ; and in the subsequent year " the council taking 
into their consideration the ruinous state and condition of the 
cross and public market-place of this burgh," directed the same 
to be rebuilt for *' the good, utility, and profit of the inhabit- 
ants," and " for the accommodation of the country people, mer- 
chants, and traffickers." Thirty years saw cross and ports all 
removed as useless encumbrances in the way of the citizens. 
The contract for rebuilding the cross shows the price of labour 
in 1734. George Miller and John Hunter, masons, received for 
their fees seven hundred merks, besides a crown of earnest, and 
this exclusive of the expense of casting of the " pit for the vault 
to be built below the cross."' Eobert Walker in East Drums, 
for furnishing the stones, got £126 Scots, including the price of 
the " stang or standing-stone for the top of the cross," with one 
sliilling of earnest. George Davidson, " deacon convener," and 
Alexander Low, carter, were allowed 6s. Scots, for each load of 
stones driven, " they being obliged to lead three stones at each 
draught, excepting where the stones are extraordinary bigg." 

The council had, no doubt, exercised the privilege of sending 
an elder to the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, from 
the period their right to do so was recognised by that august 
assembly ; but we see no notice taken of the exercise of such 
privilege till 1734, when Bailie Edward Leslie was named com- 
missioner. The council yearly elected a ruling elder after that 
time till after the Disruption, when the Free Kirk was estab- 
lished in 1843, since which the election has been pretermitted. 
The certificate of the '* uprightness of the walk" of the person 


elected to this office in 1843 was exactly in the same words as 
the certificate granted Bailie Leslie more than a century ago. 

James Watson, tailor, applies to the council in 1735, to have 
feued to him the Gallowshill ; and the burghal rulers finding that 
it is of small value, " and, as it now stands, of no use to the 
conmion good," dispose of it to the man of needles. This for- 
midable spot is now occupied with a square of houses, belonging 
to that enterprising body the North Port Distillery Company. 

It is not a little interesting to observe the accommodation 
which was at this period deemed ample and sufficient for a 
gentleman. A committee of the town council report, that, in 
their opinion, a new house should be built for Mr Shanks, the 
minister of the second charge in Brechin, ** 49 j feet, within 
the walls, in length, 14 in breadth, and 15 in height from the 
sole of the door, which will admit of two rooms on the first 
story, each 14 feet square ; a stair with two flights or turnings, 
7 feet broad, and a cellar 10 feet ; in the second story there will 
be two rooms, each 14 feet square, a closet above the cellar, with 
a chimney upon the side wall, and above them arrets : and that 
a house of no less dimensions can serve the minister and family." 
It is also said that in each room *' there cannot be less than two 
windows ; " and the other comforts of the family are provided 
for by " a brew-house of 12 feet of length, a stable and byre of 
14 feet, and a bam of 15 feet of length." Mr Shanks, we notice, 
gave £66, 13s. 4d. to the session in 1744. The building erected, 
in consequence of this recommendation, in favour of Mr Shanks, 
was pulled down in 1803, when the house at present occupied 
by the Rev. Alexander Gardner was erected, to which manse, 
however, considerable additions have been made at various times 
since 1803. 

But we must not imagine that because the nation was now 
quiet, the pugnacious people of Brechin were at peace. A fierce 
political contest arose in 1728, when Provost Robert Whyte 
was unseated, and John Knox was called to fill the chair. A 
law plea ensued, which only terminated with the death of Mr 
Whyte and his brother magistrate and adherent. Bailie Wind- 
ram, and for which law plea the council paid a pretty round 
sum of sterling moneys in 1730. In 1733, Mr Knox was him- 

1 40 Ills TOR Y OF BRECHIN, 

self unseated, and succeeded in his oflSce of provost by David 
Doig of Cookston, son of Mr Doig who was provost in 1715, and 
who was then imprisoned by the army of the Earl of Mar for his 
adherence to the House of Hanover. Provost David Doig was, 
like his father, a man of considerable energy, and, like him, he 
is not under any obligation to tradition. A legend, still pre- 
served, notices his death in no very courtly phrase, and the 
popular voice asserts that " large screids" were acquired for the 
estate of Cooksten from the public property, at small prices. 
The legend, playing upon the provost s name, vulgarly pro- 
nounced Dog, runs thus : — 

" Provost Doig *b dead — God be thankit ; 
Mony a better dog 's dead, since be was whelpit." 

The demon of discord, however, again invaded the council in 
1740, and Mr Doig was turned off. Provost Knox being recalled 
to the chair. 

Mr John Johnston, who had been a minister in Brechin, mor- 
tified in 1732, as the board in the session-house, so often referred 
to, tells us, " for a school in the west side of the parish, and other 
pious uses, upwards of £1000." This school was long known as 
the school of Pitpullox, pronounced Pitbuiks, on the farm of 
Broomfield, but is now removed to a place farther north, a short 
way from Little Brechin. 

In September 1741, the six incorporated trades fixed the 
second Wednesday of September for the yearly election of deacons 
and deacon-convener, and appointed that the latter official might 
be elected thrice in succession, but that no deacon should be 
continued in office for more than two years. This act yet regu- 
lates the mode and time of electing the convener and deacons 
of crafts. 

About this time the first tea-kettle seen in Brechin made its 
appearance, specially commissioned from Aberdeen by the lady 
of one of the principal merchants, Mr John Smith. The carrier 
who delivered the kettle, declared it was the greatest curse ever 
brought to Brechin by him or any other person. The practice 
of tea-drinking, however, spread quickly, and superseded the 
pottage and milk, the former breakfast meal, as well as the ale 


and bread which previously formed the afternoon's repast of all 

The records of the burgh are miserably deficient during that 
interesting period of Scottish romance, the insurrection of 1745-6. 
All that we gather from these records is, that the elections were 
pretermitted for two years, and that a new council was chosen 
by poll of the burgesses in July 1747. A majority of the old 
council was re-elected at the poll election, but the dynasty was 
changed; and the family of Molison, aided by the Panmure 
interest, turned out Provost Knox and his friends, although the 
latter were supported by the Presbyterian clergy of the day, and 
eiked out their canvass by distributing to the populace rum 
punch, made in washing-tubs in the porch on the north aisle 
of the church, in which distribution one of the clergymen, an 
enemy to all Jacobites, is reported to have taken an active hand. 
Mr John Molison and his party continued predominant after 
this, during all the period which we mean to embrace within 
this chapter. Mr Molison took an active superintendence of 
municipal affairs, and deserves no little credit for the labour he 
bestowed in adjusting the rentals of the town and of the hos- 
pital, previously allowed to go into great confusion. The reason 
assigned for the poll election alluded to is, " that those in whom 
the right of election was, at Michaelmas 1745, were interrupted 
from completing their election at that time by the rebels who 
were then in possession of this place." During this interreg- 
num, the municipal affairs were conducted by two gentlemen 
within the burgh, acting as sheriffs-depute. An unhappy 
wight, James Warden, a town-officer, was then debarred from 
his office, for his attachment to Charlie^ but, in 1748, the coun- 
cil records tell us that this worthy was reinstated in his situa^ 
tioUy because, poor man, he was *' actually forced by the rebels" 
to join them. The town council records of Montrose are equally 
defective at this period; on 23d September 1745, there is a 
minute of council about the ordinary affairs of the burgh, and 
the next entry is on 10th July 1746, when the old officials meet, 
by virtue of a warrant from the Privy Council, and elect, after a 
stormy debate, a new set of municipal rulers for the burgh, of 
whom David Doig of Cookston, formerly provost of Brechin, is 


chosen chief magistrate, he having by this time become a mer- 
chant in Montrose. But although the authentic records are 
thus scanty, tradition has given us many circumstances con- 
nected with this period. 

It will be recollected that Prince Charles Edward Lewis Cas- 
simer Stewart, son of James, who claimed the throne of Great 
Britain, as Eighth of Scotland and Third of England, landed in 
the Western Isles in July 1745, with only seven friends, and 
that, with little or no assistance from foreign aid, he took pos- 
session of the principal places in Scotland, and even bade fair to 
restore his father to the British throne, having advanced as far 
as Derby ; when, on the 6th December, he saw fit to pause, and 
to commence a retreat to the North of Scotland. " Bonnie Prince 
Charlie" never was in Brechin, but he had many admirers in the 
burgh, and most of the gentry in the neighbourhood joined his 
standard. William Duke of Cumberland, the second son of 
George II., was sent by his father to cope with Charles ; and on 
the field of Culloden, near Inverness, was witnessed, on 16th 
April 1746, the spectacle of two princes, the sons of kings, con- 
tending at the head of their respective armies for the right of 
their respective fathers to rule these realms. The result is well 
known — Charles was defeated — William was successful; the 
family of Stewart was for ever superseded, and the family of 
Guelph has since swayed the sceptre. We om-selves have re- 
ceived it from an individual, long since gathered to her sires, 
but who, as she described herself, was **a wee bit callant o* a 
lassie," in 1746, that Lord George Murray passed through 
Brechin with part of Charles's army early in the year, and was 
followed in a few weeks afterwards by Cumberland and his 
troops. She pictured Charles's army as containing a most un- 
cultivated set of beings, who excited terror amongst the inhabit- 
ants, even amongst those most friendly to the Stewart cause, and 
who were no ways scrupulous in helping themselves to anything 
which struck their fancy, and was of a palatable description, 
but who were chiefly noted for their predilection for ginger- 
bread. These Highlanders were several days about Brechin, at 
least the advanced-guard, main-body, and rear-guard was each 
one, if not two 'days in the town. Murray's men took possessioQ 


of the Town-hall for their guard-room, broke up the benches, 
tore open the presses, and burned such records as fell mto their 
hands to supply them with fuel. But notwithstanding of all 
these peccadilloes, the hearts of the ladies went with the High- 
landers, and our little friend herself even found a sweetheart 
amongst them, whom she stated to have been a " protty lad." 
The troops of Cumberland were better disciplined, and the little 
lass alluded to described them as affording a beautiful sight when 
they marched along the Bridge of Brechin, having come from 
Forfar by Angus Hill, and what is now denominated the old 
road, the present turnpike not having existed till fifty years 
afterwards. A brewer who then lived at the end of the bridge, 
either from fear or loyalty, perhaps partly from both, spread 
tables in front of his house, and covered them with bickers full 
of beer, and small loaves of bread, to which he invited the sol- 
diers of Cumberland ; but Prince William, suspecting this over- 
hospitality, would not allow his men to taste a thing offered to 
them, not even a glass of water ; and he caused his soldiers to seat 
themselves by the side of the Esk, eat what provisions they 
brought with them, and lap out of the river like dogs, or like 
the army of Gideon. When the troops were thus refreshed, and 
had enjoyed a few hours' rest, Cumberland marched them up 
by the East Mill road, round by Pitforthie, and away by the 
King s Ford, in the direction of Stonehaven and Aberdeen ; so 
that King Greorge's army passed the south end of the town of 
Brechin, but was never in the city. The duke himself and his 
staff, however, rode through the town, and joined the army at 
Caimbank. Mr David Mather, one of the bailies of Brechin 
and a favourer of the fortunes of the family of Hanover, met 
Cumberland as he entered the limits of the burgh at the Muckle 
Mill, and, with a bottle of wine and a glass in his hand, pledged 
the duke, and requested of him and his officers to partake of a 
refreshment then prepared for them by some members of the 
town council and other gentlemen of influence in the burgh. 
Cumberland took the glass out of the bailie's hands, and put the 
wine towards his mouth, expressing good wishes for Mather and 
his colleagues, but he did not even venture to let his lips taste 
the beverage, and pointedly refused to allow his officers to par- 


take of the dejeune provided for them. Perhaps the duke's sus- 
picions were more strongly excited at this time, in consequence 
of the folks of Forfar, the neighbouring town, having, a day or 
two before, contrived to cut the girths of his horses when he lay 
at Glammis, so as to retard his march northwards. Be this as 
it may, it is reported that neither the duke nor any of his army 
would taste a morsel that was offered to them ; and that they 
drew their supplies wholly from their own commissaries, who were 
harsh enough in exacting what suited them from the country 
people, at such nominal price as the commissaries chose to put 
upon the articles. When the duke was slowly parading up the 
long main street of Brechin, anxiously gazed on by the inhabit- 
ants, he observed a singularly pretty girl standing on a «totV- 
head opposite the cross ; and, struck by the girl's beauty, he 
bowed towards her ; but the little minx, to the no small morti- 
fication of her admirer, and the great delight of the spec- 
tators, replied to this courtesy by the most contemptuous 
gesture she could adopt — a gesture fully as expressive as deli- 

Cumberland, it would appear from the records of the presby- 
tery of Brechin, was at Montrose on the 22d and 24th February. 
On the first of these days that presbytery met at Brechin in the 
forenoon, and adjourned to Montrose in the afternoon to address 
the duke, but ** his Eoyal Highness having called together his 
general officers to consult about matters of importance, could 
not be at leisure this night, but would very willingly receive 
them on Monday next in the forenoon;" and accordingly, on 
the 24th February 1746, that reverend body having desired 
access to his Royal Highness, they were graciously received and 
had the honour to kiss the duke's hand ; and after a short ad- 
dress by their moderator, testifying their loyalty and steady 
adherence to his Majesty's person and government, " and ex- 
pressing then- just abhorrence of the present unnatural rebellion, 
and wishing safety and success to his Boyal Highness," they 
had a most favourable answer by his Boyal Highness himself. 
Whether it was before or after this that Cumberland was in 
Brechin we have no certain information ; but we should rather 
suppose the duke had come to Brechin to meet a detachment of 


his troops, after he had left Montrose, where apparently he had 
kept his head-quarters for a few days. 

Before marching into England, in October 1745, Prince 
Charles named David Ferrier, tenant of Unthank and merchant 
in Brechin, to be commandant of a party of troops left at Mon- 
trose. Mr Ferrier was a captain in Lord Ogilvie's regiment^ 
and had raised two companies of militia, with whom he did 
much service to the Pretender's cause, and was in consequence 
appointed deputy-governor of Brechin by James Camegy Ar- 
buthnott of Balnamoon and Findowry^ who acted as deputy- 
lieutenant of the county of Angus for the Stewart party» 
During the winter of 1745-46 the Hazardy sluop-of-war, an- 
chored in the. river South Esk, off Montrose, pi^venting all inter- . 
course by sea, and annoying Ferrier's troops when they made 
their appearance on land within range of the guns. Captain 
Ferrier planned, and with no little boldness executed, a scheme 
for getting rid of the annoyance. He first naounted some old 
guns found about the harbour, and placed them at a narrow part 
of the river, to prevent the vessel running out to sea, and he next 
availed himself of a thick fog to surround the ship with boats 
manned by his own soldiers, and steered by sailors favourable to 
his cause. The crew of the sloop, taken by surprise, surrendered 
at discretion ; some were killed in the action, and the rest were 
marched into prison. This vessel was afterwards despatched 
into France as a Snow, under the name of The Prince Charles^ 
and returning to Scotland with a valuable cargo, was chased by 
the SheemesSy man-of-war, to avoid which the crew ran the 
vessel ashore on Lord Beay's country, where it was plundered by 
the Hanoverian party. In the library of Carmiehael, Lanark- 
shire, there is a book entitled, '' List of Persons concerned in 
the Bebellion, with Evidences to prove the same, transmitted 
to the Conmiissioners of Excise by the several Supervisors in 
Scotland;" and in this volume Mr Ferrier is thus noticed: — 
" David Ferrier, merchant in Brechin, acted as deputy-governor 
of the town of Brechin, practised the highest tyranny over the 
loyal subjects of the Grovemment in every shape, and particu- 
larly extorted men, money, and horses and arms throughout the . 
whole country, levied his Majesty's Excise, and gave his o^n 



receipts for the same ; was the principal person who promoted 
and carried on the affair of taking the Hazard sloop-of-war, in 
which some of the crew were killed and wounded, and the rest 
made prisoners, and treated by him in so barbarous a manner 
that they must in all probability have perished had it not been 
for the assistance they received from the Government in Mon- 
trose, Brechin, and elsewhere. He also bore arms in Lord 
Ogilvie's regiment, and recruited and forced out no less than 
two companies of rebel militia ; was present at the skirmish of 
Inverury as captain of one of said companies ; burnt the custom- 
house at Aberdeen ; received and conveyed the French arms and 
ammunition to the rebel army, for which purpose he harassed 
and oppressed the whole country, in pressing their horses and 
carts. He joined the main body of the rebels at Stirling with 
his companies, accompanied them to Inverness, from whence he 
returned to Glenesk, raised a great many of the inhabitants there 
with a design to force back rebel runaways, and make well- 
affected people prisoners, and marched with the said Glenesks 
to Cortachie, in order to force a garrison of the king s troops 
there. These facts are well known to every person in these 
places of the country. Supposed to be lurking among the neigh- 
bouring hills." Mr Ferrier succeeded in getting abroad, and, 
not being included in the Act of Amnesty, he subsequently re- 
sided in Spain, where he died. He must have been a bold, clever 
fellow, and well deserving of a better fortune. 

Many of the natives of Brechin were present at the battle of 
Culloden, but only a few returned to give an account of that 
awful day ; and these few, for obvious reasons, were not very 
anxious to speak of what they had seen. One gentleman, who 
had served in the army abroad, but whose predilections led him 
to join the prince, (he was careful in avoiding to say which 
prince,) used to tell that he surveyed the Highland line imme- 
diately before it charged the regular troops, and that the eyes 
of each Highlander then gleamed Uke coals, while each coun- 
tenance was marked with an expression of determination fearful 
to look upon. 

Amongst those who did return from "following Prince 
Charlie,'' was Peter Logie> the cripple tailor of the Tiggerton of 


Balnamoon. Mr Carnegy; the laird of Balnamoon, already 
alluded to, was a zealous Jacobite, collected the cess of the 
county of Forfar in name of James VIII., and followed to the 
« battie-fidd " mth aU hia train, for which he was subsequently 
taken to the Tower, and only escaped in consequence of a *' mis- 
nomer," when brought to trial for his connexion with the rising. 
Mr Camegy, although he made as much haste home as was 
possible after the battle of Culloden, found that Logic, with his 
club-foot, had preceded him by a day. The tailor was subse- 
quently apprehended, and questioned about his connexion with 
tiie rebellion, by the Elector of Hanover's magistrates, as he 
termed them. When asked if he was present at the battle of 
Preston, the battle of Falkirk, and the battle of Culloden, he 
answered affirmatively, and with much seeming candour, to 
each question; and when asked what station he held in the 
rebel army, he replied, with a glance at his club-foot, '' I had 
the honour to be his royal highnesses dancing-master.'' Peter, 
it is needless to add, was immediately liberated. Balnamoon 
used to tell this story with considerable glee. Though there 
was no doubt that Logic was in attendance upon Balnamoon at 
Preston and Falkirk, those in the secret doubted whether the 
'^ sly tailor loon " had ever got the length of Culloden Muir. 

Another retainer of Balnamoon's, in the same rank of life as 
Logic, and who was generally believed to h£we seen the flight at 
Culloden, retained all his keenness for the cause till the close of 
a veiy old age. When he heard his neighbours complaining of 
the taxes, his usual answer was, '^ Deil hae't cares, ye widna hae 
a gnid king when we gae you the ofiPer o' him." 

Many of the prisoners taken to England at this time were 
confined in Tilbury Fort, a low dull-looking place, upon the 
side of the Thames ; and so wearisome was the detention of 
these active spirits in this irumimaie place, that none of them 
could ever afterwards bear to hear even the name of their 
prison. One person belonging to Brechin was seated by his 
fire on a winter evening, when his wife, honest woman, was 
reeling the yam which she had that day spun. Our friend was 
musing on his past fortunes, and, dreaming that the click-cluck- 
clack, click -cluck -clack noise made by the reel in its evolu- 


tions resembled the word Til-bury-fort, Til-bury-fort, he started 
up in a passion, seized the poker, and, with one ruthless stroke, 
demolished the emblem of industry, exclaiming, " I 'se Tilbury- 
fort ye." The person who thus allowed his imagination to get 
so much the better of his reason, was a James AUardice, who 
resided in the Nether Tenements, now called Kiver Street. 
During his imprisonment, he displayed no little heroism and 
firmness. Being strongly tempted to give evidence against his 
associates, he replied, " My life is in your hands, and you may 
take it, as you have taken the lives of better men; but my 
honour is in my own hands, and I will keep it — tliat you shall 
not take from me." 

The Swan Inn, the principal inn of the town, was kept by a 
Mr Low, who was a member of the town council in 1746, and, 
as was alleged, one of those who prevented an election of magis- 
trates and a renewal of the oaths to Government at that time. 
After the rebellion was quashed, Mr Low was taken to London, 
upon the information, as was supposed, of an over-zealous Pres- 
byterian clergyman, Mr Blair. Nothing jmrticular could be 
brought against Low, but it was thought he might be cajoled 
or frightened into being a witness against some of the leading 
men of the county, for whose conviction evidence was rather 
scanty. Accordingly, Mr Low was confined under the charge 
of one of the king's messengers, who gave him every indulgence, 
and took him round London to see all the sights. One day 
Low was suddenly sent for and examined by one of the secre- 
taries of State. After some preliminary questions, to all of 
which Mr Low gave very distinct answers, the querist said, 
" You will recollect, Mr Low, on such a day, of seeing Lord 
Airlie and other gentlemen of the county (whom he named) in 
your house, wearing white rosettes (the Stewart livery) in their 
bonnets?" **It's not the practice, my lord," responded Low, 
"for gentlemen in my country to -wear their bonnets in the 
house." '* Take him to jail," was the rejoinder, an order which 
was instantly obeyed, and Low was for nearly twelve months in 
confinement ; but he ultimately returned to Brechin, to be the 
choice host of all the Jacobites of Forfarshire, and the general 
favourite of his townsmen. Being in a friend's house with the 


suspected clergyman, years afterwards, the conversation torned 
upon London, when Low and the minister, who had also been 
in London, detailed, for the amusement of the company, what 
they had seen there. One of the gentlemen present, without 
reflecting, remarked it was strange Mr Low and Mr Blair 
appeared to have been in London at the same time, and yet 
had never met. " Sir," said Low — with a Johnsonian dignity 
which he could easily assume — " sir, I was sick and in prison, 
and he visited me not." The minister soon found an excuse for 
leaving the company, and, it was said, ever after shunned talk- 
ing of London when Mr Low was present. 

The Duke of Cumberland waa much exasperated at the Scot- 
tish Episcopalians, most of whom were Jacobites, and he was 
especially exasperated with the Episcopalians of Forfarshire, 
who raised no few men to assist Prince Charles. After the 
battle of Culloden, therefore, Cumberland adopted very harsh 
measures against the Episcopalians, causing their chapels to be 
burned, and all their property to be destroyed. His soldiers, 
under the superintendence of the Christian pastor alluded to, 
tore up the benches of the Episcopal chapel of Brechin, and 
burned all the wood-work of the interior, together with the 
prayer-books found in the chapel. The soldiery were also about 
to destroy the building, when the presbyter spoken of requested 
it might be spared, as it could be used for the Wednesday ser- 
mon — the sermon then usually delivered in the cathedral each 
Wednesday, and for which purpose the kirk was rather too large 
and cold. This was spoliation and appropriation in the true 
sense of the terms. The house was spared, but never used for 
the purpose intended. It is now occupied by a congregation in 
connexion with the United Presbyterians, 

It would appear, however, the Duke of Cumberland had some 
cause to be alarmed at the Brechin Jacobites, if the representa- 
tions made to the Presbytery by the ministers of Brechin are 
correct The Presbytery records of 2d March 1748, contain the 
following curious entry: — "Then Mr Blair and Mr Fordyce, 
ministers at Brechin, being called upon, gave in the following 
representation. That they were sorry to say that a spirit of 
disaffection did greatly prevail in their town and parish, and 


that, for the present, there was little appearance or probability of 
its decrease —nay, that it was more than before the late unnatural 
rebellion, which will be evident when it is considered; — Ist 
That of thirteen members of which the town council of Brechin 
consists, six w^re the constant attendants of a non-jurant meet- 
ing-house, during the time of the foresaid rebellion, and it de- 
serves a remark, that the provost or first magistrate, and one of 
the bailies, are of that number ; 2d, That all the members of 
the said town council, except three, were some way or other 
concerned in the late execrable attempt, some of them by keep- 
ing guard on the Hazard sloop prisoners, others of them by 
harbouring the goods of rebels, others of them by drinking the 
Pretender's health publicly at the cross ; 3d, That in the month 
of August last, his Majesty and the royal family were made the 
objects of scurrilous language and songs upon the public streets. 
That Mr Blair, one of the ministers of Brechin, took notice of 
these wicked and treasonable practices from the pulpit on a 
Lord's day, and warned the people against them, as things ex- 
tremely evil in themselves, and which, if continued, behoved to 
draw down the just displeasure of the Government upon the 
place. That though he did this on a Lord's day in presence of the 
gentlemen who had lately been put upon the magistracy, yet this 
warning was so far from having its proper effect, that a daugh- 
ter of Mr Allaxdice, one of the present bailies of the town, song 
a song in contempt of his royal highness, the duke, by way of 
insult upon> Mr Blair^ on the Monday immediately after the said 
warning whs emitted ; 4th, That sometime in the month of 
August last, John Strachan, who had been committed to Til- 
bury Fort on mspicion of treasonable practices, and had re- 
turned again to this place, said, in a public company, that the 
Pretender, whom he impudently called King James the Eighth, 
was the only rightful sovereign of those realms, for whom he 
had suffered, and wished to God there were not a living man in 
Bergenopzoom, which was then besieged by the French ; 5th, 
That so little care has been taken to put persons well affected 
to his Majesty's person and Government in the place upon the 
administration, that one Alexander Low, {our merry host of (he 
Swan,) reputed a Jacobite by all that know him, and was taken 


into custody for treasonable practices during the time of the re- 
bellion, and detained prisoner for several months, undertook to 
be evidence for the crown, and afterwards declined it, was, not- 
withstanding all this, by the influence, no doubt, of his brother* 
in-law, Mr Molison, the chief magistrate of this place, made one 
of the town councillors at Michaelmas last, since which time, as 
a proof that he is still under the influence of the old spirit of 
rebellion, he had a child baptized by the non-jurant minister 
who resides in this town ; 6th, That there are no less than two 
non-jurant ministers, one who has his constant residence in the 
town, and another who comes from the country, viz., Mr James 
Lyall at Carcary, in the parish of FarnweU, who make it their 
business to go from house to house, and to instil bad principles 
into the minds of their deluded votaries, and baptize Uieir chil- 
dren, and it 's apprehended with too great success, for numbers 
of those frequented the meetings of the Established Church im- 
mediately after the rebellion, yet they have now, almost to a 
man, withdrawn from them, those three or four excepted, who 
being upon the public management, still continue to attend them 
in order to save appearances. Nay, to this purpose, it's observ- 
able that on the seventeenth of February last, being the day of 
public humiliation appointed by his Majesty, there was not above 
three or four who had been the attendants of non-jurant meet- 
ing-houses before, and during the time of the late unnatural 
rebellion, who attended worship in the Presbyterian Church, or 
paid the least regard to that solemn day ; 7th, That» so far as 
the ministers foresaid know, the magistrates of the place bestow 
no care to discourage the spirit of disaffection which rages here, 
or to give check to the non-jurant ministers, or so much as to 
inquire into their conduct and seditious practices. It is a strong 
presumption of this that though (as said is) they attend publio 
worship in the Established Church themselves, yet none of them 
have ever brought their wives or any of their children, who are 
come to majority, along with thenu Nay, that it is well known 
that their wives and daughters are among the most zealous 
friends of the non-jurant preachers ; 8th, That his Majesty's 
most zealous friends who have persisted in attending worship 
where King George was prayed for, when both ministers and 


people were in the greatest danger from armed rebels in the 
chm'ch, have been insulted and beat upon the public streets by 
disaffected persons, and such as bore arms in the rebellion, with- 
out receiving the smallest redress from the magistrates of the 
place, who ought to protect the king's lieges by the execution of 
the laws." A report grounded upon this representation was laid 
before Government, but no proceedings followed in consequence 
against 4he contumacious magistrates. 

Mr James Fordyce, who concurs with Mr Blair in the report 
of the Jacobitical spirit in Brechin, was the eloquent writer of 
" Sermons to Young Women," and " Addresses to Young Men," 
besides other theological works. He was ordained to the second 
charge of this parish in 1745, and continued a clergyman in 
Brechin for eight years, when he removed to Alloa, and soon 
after to London. Mr Fordyce was the first Presbyterian clergy- 
man settled in Brechin in consequence of a presentation from 
the Crown ^ and it was only after his case had gone through all 
the church courts that the settlement to6k place, a number of 
his brethren contending that a leet by the Presbytery, followed 
by a call from, the people^ ought to have preceded the presenta- 

Mr Blair, who held the first charge of the parish, died at 
Brechin in 1769, aged 69, in the thiriy-sixth year of his in- 
cumbency, as recorded in^ a marble tablet placed inside the 
church, which also states, that about 1760 he established in 
Brechin the first Sabbath evening school in Scotland. 

In 1748, the church of Brechin was repaired at an expense 
of £753 Scots,, a sum which ajq)ears tahave been entirely ex- 
pended on the roof and windows. 

Mr William Maitland, the laborious historian of London and 
Edinburgh, died at Montrose on 16th July 1757. He is gene- 
rally supposed to have been bom in Brechin about the year 
1690, and the newspapers which report his death, mention that 
he died at an advanced age, and possessed of £10,000 sterling, 
lealised by trade. In the prosecution of his business, he tra- 
velled through many foreign places ; but, in 1730, he settled in 
London, and applied himself to the study of English and Scottish 
antiquities ; and, in 1733, he was elected a Fellow of the Boyal 



Antiquarian Society. In 1739 appeared his " History of Lon- 
don," which was well received. The same year he removed to 
Scotland, and in 1740 published his " History of Edinburgh/' a 
valuable and useful work. 

The unfortunate close of Charles's romantic attempt destroyed 
all the hopes which the Scottish Jacobites had hitherto nourished, 
and although, for a few years, some zealous song-singing ladies, 
and equally zealous three-bottle, health-pledging gentlemen, 
might ent^iain hopes that the '^king should enjoy his nain 
again," every cool thinking Jacobite saw that the sun of their 
hopes had set on the field of Culloden. Hereditary jurisdictions 
and military tenures, which had been as vexatious to the subject 
as they were annoying to Grovernment, were now abolished. The 
nation became united, and free from faction ; it grew less war- 
like, but it became more attached to agriculture and manufac- 
tures. The advantages of the Union with England then began 
gradually to be perceived. The town council of Brechin, anxious 
to display their new-found loyalty, were active in offering boun- 
ties and raising men for the Royal Navy. Tea, they published 
proclamations against smuggling, and petitioned to have the 
alehouses in Scotland regulated like those of England ; and, still 
more strange assimilation, they applied to Parliament to raise a 
militia in Scotland upon the same footing as in England. With 
the aid of a grant from the trustees for improving manufactures, 
the Inch was levelled, and let to a person regularly bred to the 
bleaching of linen, the son-in-law of Mr Low, so often men- 
tioned. Nuisances were removed from the streets ; the waste 
lands of the burgh were turned to account ; the regular main- 
tenance of the poor was thought of; and for the thirty years 
succeeding this civil war, the attention of the town council of 
Brechin was occupied with matters of a peaceable and profitable 
nature. One act only, prohibiting the letting of houses within 
the burgh to strangers, shows that the civil rights of the citizens 
were not yet fully recognised. Finally, the town council, in 
1759, pulled down the ports of the burgh and sold the materials, 
thus' showing that for their part they feared no further invasion. 



The long reign of George III. affords many circumstances of 
heart-stirring interest to the general historian, but few circum- 
stances which can be rendered of much excitement by the chro- 
nicler of local events. The internal affairs of burghs in the 
eighteenth centuiy may be of vast importance to the inhabitants 
of these burghs, but they have little connexion with general his- 
tory, and hence have little interest for the general reader. Our 
subsequent details, therefore, we suspect, will command the atten- 
tion of few persons not directly connected with Brechin, if indeed 
what we have already written shall command attention from any 
not so connected, or even from persons interested in the ancient 
burgh. But in the hopes that we may find some readers of 
some description, we shall hold on the even tenor of our way. 

Situated inland, the expense of sea-borne coal has always been 
severely felt by the inhabitants of Brechin. Originally, feal and 
peats were the fuel generally used, and rarely is an excavation 
yet made in the streets but the site of some ashes' pit, or peat 
stack, is discovered. Besides peats, pob, the refuse of lint, was 
very generally burned by the poorer part of the community; 
and so many accidents had occurred from the use of this fuel, 
that, in 1761, the town council passed an act prohibiting the burn- 
ing of pob in time to come. For the same reason, and at the 
same time, the council discharged flax-dressers from having 
their shops under the same roofs with dwelling-houses. Still 
further to prevent accidents by fire within the burgh, the coun- 
cil, next year, prohibited the repairing of any house with 
thatched roofs or wooden vents, and ordained that all new 
houses should be covered with slate or tiles, and have the vents 


carried up with stones. These acts, like many others of the 
same stamp, were only observed by those whom it suited to ob- 
serve them. The evils then attempted to be remedied by mimi- 
cipal enactments have been all removed by the progress of im- 
provement The last thatched tenement within the burgh was 
a house in the Lower Wynd, now called Church Street, next to 
the site of the present schools, and long inhabited by a primitive 
personage, named Tibbie Patter, whose only companions were a 
cat and a brace of ducks. Upon Tibbie's death, in 1810, the 
house, which was composed of stone and clay, and thatched, was 
pulled down, and replaced by a substantial erection of stone and 
lime. A humorous friend of ours was wont to style this last 
of the thatched biggings " Patter Hall," the house and inhabit- 
ants being unique of their kind. Becent improvements in 
machinery have rendered the employment of flax-dressers so 
dependent on spinning-mills, that the trade, as a separate pro- 
fession, is ahnost entirely abandoned, the flax being heckled at 
premises adjoining the mills, or more generally by machinery 
within the mills, and thus hecklers' shops are now unknown in 
the town, while the pob which served for fuel in 1760, is now 
wrought up into coarse yams for the manufacture of bagging 
and like purposes. 

A contest rather amusing, but not without interest in a poli- 
tical view, occurred amongst the incorporated trades in 1731. 
The tailors had resolved to augment their wages to sixpence per 
day, and had made a regular act of their craft to that effect. 
This was viewed as a serious matter by the other five trades, 
and the convener assembled the incorporations to debate the 
point, upon which the deacon of the tailors lodged a protest, 
bearing that the deacons of the other crafts were not competent 
to judge what wages were sufficient for tailors, and ought not 
to interfere in the matter. There appears much reason in the 
protest, but the convener and his court did, notwithstanding, 
interfere ; found that the tailors had been *' guilty of a highnoua 
trangression " in making of their act, ordered it to be rescinded, 
and fined them in 20 merks for their conduct. The tailors gave 
in, pleaded they had made the offensive act '' inadvertently," 
and the convenery court reduced the fine to 4s. 6d. sterling. 


The convenery court went still further at this time. They 
ordained that no matter relating to trades' affairs should be 
taken before any other court than the convenery court. Pos- 
sibly it was in consequence of this enactment that, in March 
1766, a solemn complaint was laid before the convenery court 
against a taifor for "mismaking of a great or big coat." On 
this complaint the court, after- due inquiry by three tailors, 
found that the fault of the coat lay in the tightness of the sleeves 
only, and that tliis tightness arose from the shrinking of the 
cloth in consequence of exposure to rain, and not from the cab- 
baging of the tailor, who was honourably acquitted, but, rather 
inconsistently, appointed to " widen the sleeves upon his own 
proper expenses." 

In 1763, a garden, situated at the mouth of the Bishop's 
Close, was purchased for the purpose of building a flesh-market 
upon. This market was used both for the killing of animals 
and retailing of their flesh till 1797, when a slaughter-house 
was erected at the Den-side ; and now that has been superseded, 
and premises for the slaughtering of cattle erected in 1865, on 
part of the Trinity Muir market stance. The flesh-market, 
which, in 1763, was doubtless a very great improvement, has 
now become of no use for the purpose intended, all the butchers 
occupying separate shops in different parts of the town, a dis- 
tribution of the craft which is much more convenient for the 
inhabitants than when the whole fleshers were collected in one 
public market, even although in the most centrical part of the 
town. The number of butchers too has so much increased that 
the flesh-market would not accommodate above half of those of 
the present day, and this increase we look upon as no uncertain 
sign of the increased comforts of the people of Brechin since the 
time when the flesh-market was erected. The market, as we 
formerly noticed, is now however used for the sale of dairy pro- 
duce, poultry, &c., on Tuesdays. 

A serious riot occurred amongst the trades at the " intaking" 
of the Trinity Fair in July 1765, in consequence of which the 
council published a formal order regulating the precedency of 
the incorporated trades upon all subsequent similar occasions. 
This enactment, we believe, has been strictly observed ever since. 


The order of precedency is this : The free members of the ham- 
mermen> glovers, and bakers go first, abreast ; the free members 
of the shoemakers, weavers, and tailors follow next ; then the 
Wrights and butchers ; and, lastly, the apprentices and servants 
of the different crafts, keeping the same order as that assigned 
for their masters. The butchers and wrights never had any voice 
in the municipal elections, although they enjoyed corporate pri- 
vileges. About the end of the eighteenth century the butchers 
and wrights formed themselves into two friendly societies ; and 
in 1827, when the rage came for breaking up such societies, the 
funds of these two bodies were divided, and the butchers and 
wrights then ceased to exist either as societies or corporate bodies. 
The glovers at present are in abeyance, having neglected, in 1836, 
to elect office-bearers, and we presume they will be content so to 
remain in time to come, the more especially as there has been no 
actual glover in the burgh for many years. The other five trades 
still exist — the hammermen, bakers, shoemakers, weavers, and 
tailors : the last four composed chiefly of persons, handicraftsmen 
of the trades to which their names point; the first including 
smiths, watchmakers, and saddlers — ^the saddlers having ori- 
ginally been, claimed by this craft, from the quantity of iron work 
about the ancient trappings for horses. In 1766, the guildry 
incorporation renewed- an existing ordinance of that body, by 
which any individual claiming admission as a guild brother was 
obliged to renounce atl right to vote in the elections of the trades ; 
and the trades as strictly prohibited those who became guildry- 
men from any title to interfere in their elections ; so that within 
the town there were two public bodies jealously watching over 
the aristocracy and democracy of the burgh, and both looking 
with Argus eyes at the magistracy and close council of the 
town, till the Reform Act of 1832 threw the incorporations 
comparatively into the shade, and brought forward the £10 
voters as a body commixing and superseding both guildry and 

Upon the petition of the doctor of the grammar-school, or 
second teacher in that establishment, the council, in July 1765, 
in respect that '* the expense of living and other necessaries was, 
of late years, much increased," augmented the quarterly fee pay- 


able to the doctor from Is. to Is. 6A, but ordained him " to teach 
each scholar who shall apply for the same, writing and arith- 
metic for the said quarterly payment, as well as Latin." This 
office of doctor was abolished in 1783, when Mr William Dovertie 
was appointed " teacher of English, writing, and arithmetic 
within the burgh," and allowed the salary JFormerly paid to the 
doctor, with authority to uplift from his scholars, " from those he 
teaches English only, Is. 6d. ; from those who he teaches English 
and writing, 2s. ; and from those who he teaches English, writing, 
and arithmetic, 2s. 6d.," quarterly. Mr Dovertie, however, taught 
the foreign languages, because Mr Linton, the rector, taught 
English and figiires, and thus, in each of the schools, all the 
branches of education were taught till a formal division was 
made in 1834. The fees exacted about 1780-90 did not exceed 
3a 6d. per quarter for every branch of education except book- 
keeping, which was charged at a guinea the course. The fees 
were not augmented till 1801. 

In July 1766, the Dove Wells of Cookston were purchased 
from the proprietor of that estate, and water was introduced into 
the town by means of lead pipes. It was then agreed, at a head 
court called for the purpose of considering the matter, that the 
expense should be defrayed by an assessment of Is. per £ on the 
rent, laid on for fifteen years. The person employed to lay the 
pipes was a Robert Selby, plumber in Edinburgh, and his con- 
tract amounted to £287, 4s. for pipes of one-and-a-half inch 
diameter, weighing 20 lbs. per yard, all carriages being defrayed 
by the burgh. By means of these pipes the town till recently 
was well supplied with pure spring water of an excellent quaUty. 
The increase of population, however, has led to the introduction 
of water from Burghill by means of cast-iron pipes, these being 
cheaper and equally effective as lead. To enable the community 
to pay the original expense, a credit was applied for and obtained 
from the Dundee Banking Company for £500 ; but, in 1769, an 
arrangement was entered into with Earl Panmure, whereby he 
acquired a right to a pipe of half-an-inch diameter, for conduct- 
ing water from the town s fountains to Brechin Castle, and the 
earl paid the bond to the bank. In consequence, the proposed 
tax of Is. per £ was never levied, and the inhabitants were for- 


mally relieved of it by an act of council, dated let November 
1770. A tax, however, waa raised for maintaining the wells, 
which was collected by a treasurer named by the inhabitants. 
Many of the proprietors bought up this tax, by which means 
about £100 were raised. Unfortunately, however, the fund came 
into bad hands, and most of the cash was lost, while the whole 
expense of maintaining the public wells was thrown on the burgh 
funds. The maintenance of fountains, wells, and pipes has cost, 
first and last, no little money ; but this expense, together with 
the other municipal expenses, have hitherto been paid from the 
burgh funds. The cross, the capital, as it may be termed, of 
the burgh, was pulled down in 1767, by order of the council, 
and the stones were employed in " building the six wells pro- 
posed for discharging the water in the town ;" the reasons given 
for this demolition being the saving of expense to the community, 
and the increased accommodation afforded at the market-place 
by the removal of the cross. The site of this ancient erection 
was pointed out by a circle intersected by a cross, marked by 
stones placed in the causeway, opposite the town hall, tiU, in 
1837, this memorial of bygone magnificence was entirely effaced 
by the devoted followers of Macadam. 

The proposal for a canal between Glasgow and Carron in 
1767, seems to have alarmed the magistrates of Edinburgh, and 
the council of Brechin were weak enough, in consequence of a 
conununlcation addressed to them from a committee of the 
convention of royal burghs, to write their then representative in 
Parliament, urging him to use his endeavours to have the mea- 
sure delayed, *' that an affair of such importance to the country 
in general may be more deliberately gone about" The canal 
has since been made, and carried on to Edinburgh, but is now 
all but superseded by a railway between these two extensive 

In 1768, some of the country gentlemen in the neighbourhood 
had a r^ular battle with the magistrates in the Trinity Muir 
markets arising out of a dispute about enclosures erected by the 
council in the Common Muir. The magistrates were supported 
by the council and incorporations in going to law, and after a 
long discussion before the Court of Session, it was found that 



the right to enclose lay with the council, but that they had en- 
forced their title in an improper manner. Thus both parties 
were, to a certain extent, found wrong, and both were mulcted 
in no small sums to the Edinburgh gentlemen who condescend 
to wear wigs and gowns, and to pocket the money and laugh at 
the simplicity of those who employ them. 

In 1770, and the years immediately succeeding, large portions 
of the Common Muir were feued off to the Earl of Panmure, Mr 
Camegy of Balnamoon, and other gentlemen, to the advantage 
equally of the burgh and of the feuars. From the feuing of this 
muir a great part of the revenue of the town now arises, and as 
this muir continues to be subdivided and improved, so will the 
revenue of the burgh continue to increase. A plan of all these 
feus will be found in the charter room, framed by Mr George 
Henderson, land-surveyor and nurseryman, in 1829, and will 
afford to any one inclined to examine it a distinct view of the 
great extent of the Trinity Muir, originally belonging to the town, 
and described as extending from the Gallows of Keithock to the 
Gallows of Fearn. We had many a pleasant early morning walk 
and ride with Mr Henderson in ascertaining boundaries to be 
inscribed on this map, for it well deserves that name, and is of 
great value to the corporation. 

A melancholy account is given of the state of the public 
school-house in 1772. It is said to be ** ruinous, and in great 
danger by the back wall thereof being in daily hazard of falling," 
in consequence of which the council directed it to be repaired — 
not too soon, certainly. 

The river Esk overflowed its banks in 1774. The whole 
bleachfield was then covered, and the inhabitants of the Lower 
Tenements were driven to the higher apartments of their house8> 
the under stories being quite under water. 

It was in 1776, that the famous act was made, which we have 
so often heard referred to at public meetings, as an instance of 
how the best of measures may be misapprehended by public 
bodies. In June that year, the council directed the magistrates 
to oppose the bill then intended to be brought into Parliament for 
making toll roads in the county, because, as the minute of council 
bears, " the establishing a toll would be highly prejudicial to the 


trade and manufactures of this burgh in particular, and to the 
country adjacent in general." The toll roads were, however^ 
made, and in the year 1793 the council subscribed thirty guineas 
towards the erection of a bridge at Finhaven upon the line of the 
toU-road, which has ever since continued the direct route be- 
tween Brechin and Forfar, although travellers now generally go 
by the nmnd about railway between these places; a circum" 
bendibua which will surely soon be superseded by a direct line 
between the two towns. Eoads must always continue for the 
convenience of the internal intercourse of the country, but modern 
economists have begun, like the Brechin council of 1776, to 
doubt whether the public highways of a nation might not be 
more fairly maintained than by a tax on the passengers travelling 
over them, so that the act, which almost since its date has been 
matter of mirth to the political philosophers of the burgh, may 
yet come to be held up as proof of the wisdom of our ancestors. 

The muckle bell was recast in 1780. The expense was de- 
frayed chiefly by publio subscriptions. How this recasting came 
to be necessary is not on record ; but tradition tells that some 
limbs of the law, and other young bucks, having become too 
jovial, climbed up into the steeple one Saturday night by means 
of the timber then kept in the fore churchyard by the carpen- 
ters of the town, and having thus gained admission to the belfrey, 
rung the bell till they broke it. Doubtless, these gentlemen, 
though keeping in the shade, would be liberal in their subscrip- 
tions towards the recasting of the bell. A few friends of ours, 
now all in their graves, were in their heydays seized with a 
similar fit of frolic and mischief. Amongst other tricks, they 
pulled down the sign of a worthy burgess, more noted for Jaw 
than judgment. We shall never forget the queer appearance of 
the gentleman of the brush, who was employed next day to re- 
place the demolished sign, and who had the utmost difficulty in 
answering, with becoming gravity, the numerous questions put 
by passers-by regarding the cause of his labour. The painting, 
which might have been finished by the clever, good-humoured 
artist in half-an-hour under ordinary circumstances, occupied 
him for four or five hours, but the account of cost we believe 
was never rendered. Many guessed at the ofiFenders, but the 


fiscal, if he sought it seriously, got no clue for a prosecution, 
and the lads, who had been foolish enough for once, gave up all 
such tricks for the future. 

A very formal act of the town council, dated 3d October 
1781, regulates the mode of sitting in the loft of the church be- 
longing to the municipal authorities. By this act it is appointed 
that the office-bearers shall sit in the front pew, the provost in 
the chief seat with the first bailie and dean of guild on his 
right hand, and the youngest bailie, clerk, treasurer, and master 
of the hospital on his left, and that the other members shall sit 
in the pew behind. The cause of this formal minute is said, by 
tradition, to have been, that the deacon convener for the time 
usurped a seat in the front pew, and we have heard that the 
** bold bad man " persevered in his claim notwithstanding of this 
act of council. The magistrates, therefore, wishing to shame 
the convener out of his presumption, put the town-officers into 
the front pew alongside of him, and retired themselves to the 
back seat. The audacious tradesman, however, at the end of 
the sermon, rose, and, with great noncJicdaiice, made his bow 
first to the clergyman, and then turning to the right, bowed 
most profoundly to the one town-officer, and turning to the left, 
bowed as profoundly to the other town-officer, agreeable to the 
mode then practised by the provost " himsel', worthy man." 
When called to account before the council for infringing the act 
alluded to, the deacon replied that it was not he but the magis- 
trates who had infringed the act, by sending the town-officers 
to the firont seat, and retiring themselves to the back one. The 
contest, like most others of the same kind, was dropped by the 
magistrates, and the convener, meeting with no opposition, 
quietiy seated himself where he found most room. But the act 
has ever since been referred to as r^ulating the right and pre- 
cedence on the subject So many of the members of council, of 
modern times, have been dissenters from the Kirk of Scotland, 
that, generally, '' ample room and verge enough " is to be found 
for any councillor fond of a front seat. 

John Duncan, Esq., a native of Brechin, and sometime pro- 
prietor of Bosemount, who realised a handsome fortune in the 
exercise of the medical profession in India, presented the town 


council with a China bowl still in existence, and which bears on 
its base this inscription: — " Canton, 1785 — from John Duncan 
per favor of Captain Stewart, Belmont." A ship, the crest of 
the family of Duncan, appears on two sides of this bowl, while 
the remaining two sides carry copies of the city arms ; and the 
centre of the bowl is graced with a similar ornament, surrounded 
with the words, ** Success to the City of Brechin." The bowl 
is a splendid specimen of china, and capable of containing twenty 
Scotch pints, or a gallon of whisky made into punch. When it 
arrived in Brechin, the topers of the day considered it necessary 
to try if it would hold in. Accordingly a feast was proclaimed 
and a company assembled, one of whom, on returning to his 
&mily circle, and expatiating upon the beauty of the bowl, de- 
clared, amongst other wonders which it possessed, (speaking 
with a lisp,) that " there were mith in the bowl ; " the jolly 
citizen having mistaken the lemons put in to season the punch 
for Chinese mice swimming amongst the potent liquid. 

On Saturday, the 19th March 1785, Andrew Low, a native of 
Brechin, was hanged on the west end of the hill of Forfar, be- 
tween the hours of twelve midday and four in the afternoon, 
having on the 28th January previously been found guilty by the 
unanimous voice of a jury, of two separate acts of housebreaking 
and theft. Low is said to have been the last person in Scotland 
upon whom the sentence of death was passed by a sheriff. The 
judge presiding was Patrick Chahners, Esq., of Aldbar, who, it 
may be interesting to knoy., acted at tke time as sheriff-depite 
of the whole of Forfarshire for the salary of £150 yearly. The 
office of sheriff principal was then in Scotland, as now in Eng-* 
land, an honorary office, and the sheriff-depute was really the 
highest legal authority in the county, having a substitute or sub- 
stitutes under him, officiating in the ordinary courts as at pre- 
sent The place where Low was executed is still pointed out 
upon Balmashanner hill ; and at no distant date the name and 
age of the unfortunate lad were cut out upon the turf, on the old 
site of the gallows. Fortunately the laws now are not so bloody, 
and crimes like those of Low would only be visited by transpor- 
tation for life, or a term of years. Low's fate was long a matter 
of conversation and regret in Brechin, but it was darkly insinu- 


ated that he had been led by cunning men to be participant in 
a deeper crime than mere housebreaking and theft. 

The Bridge of Brechin stood very much in need of repair in 
1786, and a Mr Stevens, mason, estimated that £350 were re- 
quired to put it in a proper condition. The council, who by this 
time began to see that the county had as much interest in this 
bridge as the burgh, subscribed £21 to assist. The remainder 
of the cash was raised partly by voluntary subscription in the 
town and neighbourhood, and partly by a county assessment. 

In the same year, 1786, a collection was made at the church 
door for the benefit of the Infirmary of Aberdeen, to which the 
kirk-session minutes state this parish had been much indebted ; 
and in the following year, 1787, a similar collection was made 
for the benefit of the lunatic asylum of Montrose, upon the 
assurance, as the minutes of session bear, that in consequence 
" our insane poor, after this, would be admitted to the said hos- 
pital on easier terms." The session minutes of the same year 
record, that his majesty's proclamation for the suppression of 
vice and inmiorality, and for the more religious observation of 
the Lord's Day, had been read from the pxJpit, " and the con- 
gregation suitably exhorted." 

The council, in January 1788, ** considering that the meal- 
market of this burgh has not for many years been used for the 
purpose of selling meal, and that the wynd wherein it is situated 
is a very public entry to the town," ordained the market to be 
pulled down. This market was situated in Swan Street, which 
was then called the Meal Market W3md, and this market was 
directly opposite where the Union Bank now is. 

This was rather a stirring year this 1788. The town-hall 
and prisons were pulled down, and the present erections built 
by public subscription. The town council commenced the sub- 
scription with £300, and resolved to begin the work when £500 
were subscribed. Sir David Carnegie of Southesk, then Mem- 
ber of Parliament for this district of burghs, came forward with 
fifty guineas, and the rest of the sum having been readily con- 
tributed, the work was commenced early in the spring of 1789. 
The total amount subscribed, including the £300 given by the 
town, was £529, lis. But the extra work went beyond the sub- 


scriptions, and another £100 were voted from the town's funds 
to finish the work, and to procure a new clock, which was 
furnished by Mr John Drummond, watch and clockmaker of 
Brechin. More extras yet arose, and finally, a (wrte-hlanche was 
given to the treasurer to pay all accounts still remaining due. 
The guildry incorporation gave £50 to the rebuilding of the 
town-house, in consequence of which the council, on 9th Sep- 
tember 1790, passed an act, declaring that the large east room 
or hall immediately above the ground story, *' shall, in aU time 
coming, have the name of, and be termed the guild hall of Bre- 
chin, with Uberty and privilege to the guildry of Brechin to hold 
therein their annual head court, and any other meetings called 
or summoned by the dean of guild of Brechin for the time.'* 
The right thus granted still continues to be exercised. The 
hall when finished was ornamented with two very handsome 
crystal chandeliers, which tumbled down, first one then another, 
within the year, leaving thQ suspicion that the suspending rod 
had been cut through with a file by some miscreant. The debris 
lay in the garret tUl some twenty years ago, when it, with other 
Imnber, was disposed of. Then it was discovered that a ring on 
each suspending rod had caused a current of electricity to cir- 
culate round each rod, and cut it neatly through, as if done by a 

'* Application having been made from the magistrates and 
town council of Montrose to the magistrates and town council 
here, asking aid for making an intended road from the Bridge 
of Tayock to Montrose ; " the Brechin council, by a minute in 
February 1789, authorised twenty guineas to be subscribed for 
this purpose. 

One of the little bells having been cracked, was recast at 
London in 1789, at an expense of £6, 18s. 5^d., which sum, 
with £2, Ss. 5}d. of incidental expenses attendant on the re* 
hanging of the beU, was chiefly defrayed by a contribution at 
the kirk door. 

Disputes arose in 1790, about the rights of publicans to pitch 
tents in the Trinity Muir markets, when the council very pro- 
perly passed an act ordaining that all the then possessors of sites 
should be allowed to occupy them themselves, but not to give 


them over to any other person ; and that upon the death of these 
possessors, or upon their absenting themselves from the principal 
market, the sites should revert to the magistrates, to be by them 
disposed of to new comers. The same rule yet continues, and 
some rule certainly is required when these canvas houses 
amount in number, occasionally, to nearly fifty. 

Lady Saltoun, happening to be in Brechin in 1780, walked 
with another lady from the inn, then the Swan Inn, where the 
Union Bank now stands, down to see the church and steeple ; 
and in rctiuning it came on a shower, when Lady Saltoun put 
up her umbrella, a large green silk one. This caused a general 
turn out in the street, with " Lord preserve us, what is that she 
has got above her head ?" And " God guide us, only see what is 
above her head 1 " Our informant, a very aged gentleman, says 
he was then only a boy at the school, but the thing was so new 
and so very remarkable that he never forgot it Lady Saltoun's 
was a visit and away, but a few years afterwards an umbrella 
was again brought to Brechin by a lady from Montrose on a 
visit to her friends in this quarter, and such attention did it 
command that the lady was never permitted to walk the streets, 
with the instrument displayed, without attracting a host of spec- 
tators, male and female, who, despising the rain, followed her 
wherever she went. Previous to the introduction of umbrellas» 
the ladies, in rainy weather, wore cloaks with immense hoods 
spread out by splits of bamboo, and which covered caps, bon- 
nets and all. Females in the lower ranks of life wore plaids 
over their heads, closely pinned under their chins. A few of 
such plaids were till lately to be seen, worn by the old ladies, 
who, from poverty and deafness, occupied the seats alongside the 
pulpit of the cathedral church, but they have all now disappeared. 

Gin was the pecuUar drink of the people at the period we write 
of, and it was customary to give a dram in a cup. A lady, to whom 
we owe our existence, being by the death of her parents left early 
in charge of the household, had, according to the practice com- 
mon then, and not uncommon now, to give a dram to a washer- 
woman, and, thinking to be genteel, presented it to her friend 
in a glass ; the woman of soap-suds repudiated the offer with 
scorn, and desired to have no one watching, and ordered a mp 


m a cup in the guid avid folks* toay, and wa^ quite contented 
when the same measure was served up to her in a china cup. 
Gin and water was too common a beverage amongst bibbers, and 
a meru^tan was frequent at tliis time with men considered other- 
wise sober. Whisky, however, gradually superseded gin ; and 
whisky toddy, tumblers and glasses, put cups and pint stoups 
out of fashion. 

The same household to which we refer had at the beginning 
of the century, when we were young, the kitchen dresser and 
plate-rack hmdsomdy decorated with well scoured, bright shin- 
ing plates, ashets, &c., of pewter; but Wedgewood, with his 
cheap stoneware, so easily kept clean, has put pewter out of 
fashion. We have when a boy ate off pewter flat plates, meat 
cut from flesh served on pewter salvers or ashets, the handles 
of the knives used being also of pewter. At this time we were 
dressed in corduroy clothes, the breeches buttoned over the 
jacket, a most unbecoming dress ; we had leather thongs for 
shoe-ties, each shoe being equally well suited for either foot, and 
being duly changed each morning so as to wear fair ; while our 
head was covered with a leather cap, flat to our caput and with 
a glazed front; the cap being a most handy thing for carrying 
either water or dust as play might require. Some of the charity 
boys in England still wear the same dress which was usual in 
Brechin for years after 1800. 

A statistical account of the parish, written in 1790, states 
that '' there are neither Jews, negroes, nor Roman Catholics in 
the parish, but some of those sturdy beggars called gypsies oo- 
casionaUy visit it." The gypsies stiQ continue their visits, and 
a few negroes and Roman Catholics may now be found amongst 
us, but the Jews consider us '^ too far north" for them as yet. 

In the following year, 1791, the council of Brechin and county 
gentlemen were up in arms against the conununity of Montrose, 
because the Montrosians purposed erecting a bridge across the 
Esk, opposite what was then called the Fort Hill, without leav- 
ing any passage for vessels to go fiirther up the river. The 
agitation was renewed in 1800, when the town council of Brechin 
'< considering that the open and free navigation of the river 
South Esk is of the utmost importance to the interest of the 


town of Brechin," agreed to 8ist themselves as parties in an 
action at the instance of Sir David Carnegie of Southesk, and 
John Erskine, Esquire of Dun, against the commissioners then 
appointed for erecting a wooden bridge at Montrose. These 
differences were all happily settled, and part of the wooden bridge 
was made to rise and fall so as to allow vessels to pass ; and this 
wooden bridge having subsequently, in 1826, been superseded 
by an iron suspension bridge, accommodation for the passage of 
vessels has been found by converting the stone bridge farther 
on, over another narrower and deeper branch of the Esk, into a 
swivel bridge. 

The Dundee Banking Company established an agency in 
Brechin about 1792, being the ' first bank which, did business 
regularly in Brechin. The Bank of Scotland opened an office 
in August 1792, but the agency having been unfortunate, was 
withdrawn in 1803. The Dundee Banking Company was suc- 
ceeded by the Dundee New Bank about 1804, and this branch 
of the Dundee New Bank remained till 1818. The Dundee 
Union Bank in 1809 opened an agency in what was then termed 
the Upper West Wynd, now called Saint David Street, and 
when the Dundee Union Bank was amalgamated with the 
Western Bank in 1844, the agency was continued in the same 
place as a branch of the Western Bank ; but when that bank 
failed in 1857 the same agents procured a branch of the Boyal 
Bank, which is still continued, now in Swan Street, by Mr James 
Guthrie, a member of the family under the original firm of 
Messrs David Guthrie & Sous. A Provincial Bank was estab- 
lished in Montrose in 1814, which sent agencies to Arbroath 
and Brechin. The agency in Brechin was under the mianage- 
ment of different gentlemen at different times, but was never 
fortunate. The agency was withdrawn in 1828, and the bank 
was dissolved in 1829, when it was ascertained that there had 
been a great loss incurred, chiefly arising from misfortunes in 
the Arbroath and Brechin agencies. The British Linen Com- 
pany sent a branch here in 1836, under charge of Messrs Speid 
and Black, and the agency still continues in the same house in 
Clerk Street, under the management of one of the original 
agents, Mr 1). D. Black. The City of Glasgow Bank established 


an agency in 1854, which is conducted by Mr John Don, in St 
David Street The Union Bank has an agency in Brechin, which 
was opened in 1855, under the charge of Messrs Gordon and 
Lamb, and their office is also in Swan Street. Recently the 
Clydesdale Bank has appointed Mr George Scott to be their agent 
in Brechin, and his office is in Panmure Street. There are thus 
five bank agencies in Brechin, besides the Post-Office Savings- 
Bank, a Tenements Savings -Bank, and a Parochial Savings- 
Bank conducted in the parochial school-room each Tuesday 
evening, by Mr David Prain, parochial schoolmaster, which 
began first in 1847 as a branch of the Montrose Savings-Bank, 
but was in 1852 constituted a principal bank, under authority of 
the acts of Parliament made for the benefit of Savings-Banks. 

Two acts of the town council of 1792 display no little liber- 
ality ; the one is directing a petition to government for the re- 
moval of the penal statutes against Episcopalians, from which 
act the two members belonging to the trades alone dissent ; and 
the other is authorising a petition against the slave trada 

In the same year Adam Gillies, esquire, then advocate in 
Edinburgh, afterwards one of the senators of the college of jus- 
tice, by the title of Lord Gillies, was appointed ruling elder, an 
office which he continued to fill for forty years, when he resigned 
the situation. Lord GUlies, who was youngest son of Mr Bobert 
Gillies, merchant in Brechin, died in December 1842. 
' In this year also the council subscribed £10 towards the erec- 
tion of the new University of Edinburgh, and the guildry bought 
for the public use a set of standard weights and measures ; so 
that this year 1792 may truly be marked in the annals of Brechin 
with a white stone, imless indeed we reckon as of a less liberal 
and tolerant spirit, the resolution then adopted by the council 
'* to address his Majesty, expressing their gratitude for his royal 
goodness" in publishing a '* proclamation relative to suppress- 
ing seditious and inflammatory publications which tend to dis- 
satisfy the people with the present happy constitution." 

At this time the public streets were much in need of repair, 
but although the guildry contributed twenty guineas, the council 
found their means would go no farther than to pave the street 
from the South Port to the Path Head, and a contract was ac- 


cordingly formed in 1793 with Charles Jack, mafion, for the 
completion of the work. Jack adopted the then rather novel, 
but since frequently practised mode of ploughing up the old road 
to make room for the new causewaying. It is somewhat re- 
markable that this street, while it was the first which was cause- 
wayed, remained the last in that state, the others having been all 
previously Macadamised, as all the streets are now. 

On the 21st January 1794, we have this minute of council: — 
** Which day the council having taken into their consideration, 
the present critical situation of the country, are unanimously of 
opinion that it is necessary to declare their afiection to their 
sovereign and tbeir firm attachment to the present happy con- 
stitution, and that they will use their utmost exertions to suppress 
all seditious principles, tumults, and disorders that may arise, 
tending to subvert the same ; and they do hereby express their 
detestation and abhorrence of all levelling and equalising prin- 
ciples. The council further appoint a meeting of the principal 
inhabitants, to be held in the guild-hall of Brechin, upon Mon- 
day next, the sixth current, at 11 o'clock forenoon, to concur 
with them in their loyalty and attachment to the king and con- 
stitution. And the provost having laid before the coimcil a 
subscription paper he had received from Sir David Carnegie of 
Southesk, baronet, deputy-lord-lieutenant of the county, in con- 
sequence of the county resolutions of the 28th July last, pub- 
lished in the different newspapers, and recommended to the 
members of council to subscribe the same, and which paper met 
with the approbation of the members of council, and was accord- 
ingly subscribed. Lastly, the council recommend to the provost 
to publish those, their resolutions, in the different Edinburgh 
newspapers." The six incorporated trades passed similar reso- 
lutions, even more decided, and certainly better expressed. 
These loyal addresses were followed up by as loyal actions. In 
1796, four men were raised from the burgh to serve in his Ma- 
jesty's navy, the expense being defrayed by an assessment on the 
burgesses, amounting to upwards of £100, and in 1798 the town 
gave £105 as a subscription to the loyalty fund, and for the 
prosecution of the war then pending with France. 

The incorporations and burgesses began in 1770 to stir " in 


the matter of reform," as it is generally called in their books, 
and to demand inspection of the town and hospital accounts, 
that is, to control the ways and means ; but the council of that 
period were noways inclined to be so controlled, and although 
they agreed to give access to these accounts to a limited com- 
mittee named by themselves, they refused to lay the accounts 
before the incorporations as a body. The struggle was subse- 
quently renewed at different periods, and partial concessions 
were, from time to time, made by the council. In 1799, the 
council, for the first time, appointed the accounts of the burgh 
to be laid open for public inspection. This practice continued 
till the act of 1822, which ordained the accounts to be yearly 
exhibited for a given period. An abstract of the whole accounts 
is now printed and published each year for the information of 
the burgesses, agreeable to act of Parliament. In 1790 the agi- 
tation of reform was renewed. It was then moved in the guildry, 
that the dean, appointed by the town council, was a mere police 
magistrate, and had no right to interfere in the management of 
the funds of that incorporation ; and although this motion was 
not persisted in, the &ct of such a proposal being seriously en- 
tertained, shows the feelings of the period, and that the know- 
ledge of the rights of the people had made considerable advances. 
The ** dear years," as they were termed, produced consider- 
able distress in Brechin ; meal, then the staple of the labouring 
classes, being scarce and high priced ; the consecutive bad har- 
vests about the close of the century having created ahnost a 
famine in the land. In 1796 the town council voted £20 from 
the town's funds, and £20 from the funds of the hospital, for 
the aid of the poor. In 1799, a similar subscription was made. 
The other corporations in the burgh came forward as readily, 
and private charity was very activa The oldest recollection 
which the writer of this work has, is of seeing the people crowd- 
ing about the door of the flesh-market, part of which had been 
converted into a meal market, and struggling hard with each 
other for liberty to purchase, at a ransom, a small quantity of 
meal, every man holding his pock or little bag at arm's length 
above his head, while he attempted to force his body through 
the mass of suffering humanity around the door of the market. 


We have already mentioned that what was then the flesh-market 
is now used as a market for the sale of dairy produce, and is 
situated on the High Street, immediately below the Bishop's 
Close. It was a trying time then — war abroad, and famine at 
home. To alleviate these distresses in part, a soup-kitchen was 
opened in Brechin in 1800, a species of charity which has often 
since been resorted to with much benefit to the poor members 
of the community. 

The ministers of the crown were seriously alarmed at the 
threats of invasion held out in 1798 by the French directory 
and Bonaparte, then general of the French armies, afterwards 
emperor of that great nation, and, finally, an exile in the Island 
of St Helena. We have in our possession some of the circu- 
lars issued to the magistrates of this district, giving directions 
for the protection of the country in the event of invasion. One 
schedule requires a return of all the male inhabitants between 
fifteen and sixty, distinguishing those capable of service from 
those scrvmg in the volunteer corps, and from aliens and quakers, 
and it requires also a return of the persons, who, from age, in- 
fancy, or infirmity, might be incapable of removing themselves 
in case of such a necessity. Another schedule demands a return 
of the number of bestial of different kinds in the district ; of 
carts and waggons ; of corn-mills, with the quantities of com 
they could grind in a week ; of the ovens, and quantity of bread 
they could supply in twenty-four hours, and of the dead stock 
in the round. A third schedule' applies to the arming of those 
willing to serve as soldiers on foot or horseback, with swords, 
pistols, firelocks, and pikes, and of those willing to act as pioneers. 
More private instructions directed the blowing up of bridges, 
felling trees across roads, and picking up the highways, remov- 
ing the inhabitants to the Highlands, and burning the provender 
left behind. How thankful ought we to be that it was not neces- 
sary to resort to any of the extremities contemplated in case of 
invasion, and that no such precautions as those then adopted are 
requisite in our days. But we may remark that the tactics re- 
commended in 1798 were exactly those pursued nearly five 
hundred years before by King Robert the Bruce, when Scotland 
was invaded by Edward II. of England, and which mode of 


defeating an invading enemy is so strongly enforced in ^^ Good 
King Robert's Testament," or in the instructions which Bruce 
left for his nobles at the time of his death in 1329. 

Our gentlemen burgesses were not behind others in determi- 
nation to stand up for their homes and their hearths, and to 
maintain the constitution. A regular paper was drawn up and 
subscribed by forty-eight individuals, on 6th July 1795, by which 
they " agreed to enter into a voluntary company for supporting 
the present constitution of this country, and for suppressing of 
riots and quelling disturbances in the city ; the corps to be under 
the directions of the magistrates for the time being, and not to 
be marched more than two miles beyond the liberties of the city 
during our pleasure ; we are to have the election of our own 
office-bearers, are to furnish our own clothing, are to serve with- 
out pay, and being all, or most of us, engaged in trade, are not 
to be bound to attend the exercise but when convenient." The 
magistraites certify these heroes '^ to be respectable inhabitants 
of the place and loyal subjects, and that arms may be safely put 
into their hands." Of these forty-eight gentlemen, when this 
work was published in 1839, five still resided in the town, one 
in the immediate vicinity, and two at a distance, but the re- 
maining forty, and the three magistrates who approved of their 
conduct, were then gathered to their fathers. Since then all 
have succumbed to the fate of humanity. The terms of service 
thus proposed were not such as Government required, and the 
gentlemen, after studying the act of Parliament then passed for 
the embodying of volunteers, were obliged to write to Sir David 
Carnegie, baronet, of Southesk, the acting deputy-lieutenant 
in this quarter, *' that, considering their close engagements in 
business, it will be impossible for them to come under the pro- 
visions of that act ; " and so terminated this display of loyalty. 
But a regular corps of volunteers, embracing men of all classes 
in the burgh, capable of bearing arms, was subsequently raised 
under the provisions of the act. This regiment was under the 
command of Major Colin Gillies, whose sword and symbol of 
authority is in our custody. The corps was disembodied at the 
peace of Amiens in 1802, and was succeeded by another which 
-ultimately merged into the local militia — ^a set of troops which 


came to be not a burgh but a cx)unty force, the diflferent conx- 
panies raised in different towns having been amalgamated and 
formed into one regiment. " Fuit Ilium ; the days of burgh 
soldiering are over," — ^we said in 1839 ; not so, we have at present 
two companies of gallant defenders, which, united with the com- 
panies in the neighbouring towns, make a very handsome regi- 
ment of light infantry. 

James Button, one of the town-officers of Brechin, appointed 
in January 1788, and who survived till 1825, and William 
M'Arthur, another officer of this period, who lived till 1837, 
occasionally trespassed so far on the good nature of the magis- 
trates as to dictate the sentences to be pronounced both in civil 
and criminal matters. When any of the bailies ventured to 
differ in opinion from Hutton, he would say, " Well, bailie, you 
may do as you like, but what / state is the law." M*Arthur, 
again, when gently reprimanded by the provost for some mis- 
demeanour, pulled off his coat and tossed it in the magistrate's 
face, desiring him to wear the livery and be his own officer, 
M* Arthur existed for many years on public charity. Hutton 
was the pensioner of the burgh at his death. So difficult waa 
it found to procure proper officers in the eighteenth century, and 
so demoralising was the situation presumed to be, that one of the 
chief magistrates declared, he verily believed, if the senior bailie 
were made a town-officer, he would become a blackguard in a 
month. Happily, steady men are now found to fill these situa- 
tions with credit to themselves and advantage to the community, 
without exposing the virtue of any of the magistracy to a trial 

The statute labour road act came into force about 1790, and we 
have in our custody a valuation made up with reference to the 
act, from which it appears, that at this time, the dwelling-houses 
within the burgh, exclusive of shops, manufactories, <jkc., were 
estimated as being rented yearly at £899, 5s., and that 97 burgh 
acres of land were valued at £250, lis. ; that the number of 
saddle-horses within the burgh was 24, carriage horses 34, and 
horses for hire for working land 2, while there was ostensibly 
only one riding horse for hire in the town. 

Dr H. W. Tytler, who was a practising physician in Brechin 
during the greater part of the period embraced in this chapter, 


and who died in 1808, was a man of eccentric habite, but an 
excellent scholar. He was the son of the minister of the parish 
of Feam, a learned, zealons, and popular clergyman. Dr Tytler 
was first known as an author by a translation of '' the works of 
Callimachus " from Greek into English verse, published in 1793 ; 
and in 1798 he laid before the public, '* Psadotrophia, or the 
Art of Nursing Children ; a poem in three books, translated from 
the Latin of Scavola de St Marthe, with medical and historical 
notes," a work which has been much commended by critics. Dr 
Tytler also translated the poetical works of Silias Italicus, which 
remain unpublished, with the exception of a very few beautiful 
specimens which appeared in the Scots Magazine for 1808. 

Mr James Tytler, the author of the once popular songs of 
" The Bonnie Bruikit Laasie," " Loch Errochside," and " I 've 
laid a Herrin' in Saut," wsis a brother of the doctor's, and spent 
a good deal of his time about Brechin. Mr James Tytler, who 
was also bred to the medical profession, was the principal editor 
of the first edition of the " Encyclopaedia Britannica," and was 
engaged in many other literary works, but although a man of 
great abilities, was a person of very unsteady habits. He was 
the first person in Scotland who adventured in a balloon. The 
attempt was made from a garden within the sanctuary of Holy- 
rood, where poor Tytler waa then from necessity residing, and 
was made in a balloon constructed by Tytler himself, upon the 
plan of Montgolfier. The attempt was unsuccessful, and en- 
tailed upon the aeronaut the sobriquet of '' Balloon Tytler." 
Of course, such an attempt excited no little interest in Brechin, 
where the man was so well known. A strolling company of 
players had their then residence in Brechin, and in the evening, 
when the news of the failure of the balloon came to the burgh, 
this party were performing a piece in which a gentleman is sup- 
posed to despatch his servant to procure some intelligenca The 
person who acted the part of the servant had either got too 
much liquor, or been too deeply imbued with the success of the 
balloon scheme, or perhaps partly both, for when he returned 
on the stage, and was asked, according to the trick, '^ What 
news?'' he rejoined, " News, news, why Tytler and his balloon 
have gone to the devil,'* an answer which enraged one part of 


the audience as much as it amused another. Balloon Tytler 
died in America in 1803, having been obliged to emigrate there 
in consequence of some of his writings having given offence to 
the. British Government of the time. 

Bumese, the author of the romantic and popular legend of 
" Thrummy Cap/' as well as of some other poems of less note, 
was a baker in Brechin, While in Brechin he wrote a play, and 
prevailed on his acquaintances to enact it. The poet baker not 
only wrote the stage directions, but he instructed his " corps 
dramatique" to repeat them. Accordingly, the first words 
uttered by the hero of the piece were, ** Enter Lord Buchan, 
bowing," the actor, of course, suiting the action to the words. 
The mirth of the audience was unbounded, and the play was 
received with raptures of applause — but not repeated Bur- 
ness's habits were erratic. He left the baker trade, and served 
for many years as a soldier in the Forfarshire militia. When 
that regiment was disembodied, he became a traveller for a 
periodical publishing company in Aberdeen, and while thus 
employed, lost his life amongst the snow, near Portlethen, in 
February 1826. 

About the close of this century, there lived in Brechin, the 
proprietor of a small Highland estate in the vicinity, of whom 
many facetious stories are told. An Englishman was boasting 
mightily in the company of the laird, of the wonders of his native 
land. " Houts/' says Ogil, " come awa' to the Den and I '11 show 
you a greater wonnar." Accordingly he led the southron to what 
was called the Sandhole Brae, and stationing the gentleman in 
the recess made in the brae by the removal of the sand, Mr 
Simpson went himself to the foot of the bank, some thirty yards 
off, and gesticulated violently as if screaming loudly, but took 
care not to utter a sound. The Englishman, of course, heard 
nothing, and when questioned by Ogil, declared, that although 
from the motions made by the laird, he was sensible that gentle* 
man was speaking loud, yet he had not been able to gather a 
syllable. " A' owin' to the wonnarfu' nature o' the grund," 
said Mr Simpson ; " but try 't yoursel' I" The situation of parties 
was then changed, the English gentleman going to the foot of 
the brae and bawling as loud as he could, while our friend gazed 


upon him with lack-lustre eyes as if hearing nothing. The 
southron was satisfied that if there were astonishing things in 
England, and amazing echoes in Ireland, there were as wonder- 
ful braes in Scotland which interrupted all sound. On another 
occasion the laird called on Mr Colin Gillies, com merchant of 
Brechin, with a sample of barley which he wished to sell. Mr 
Qillie8,our Volunteer Major, expressed himself highly pleased with 
the quality of the grain, but said he did not think Mr Simpson's 
estate could have produced such fine barley : — ' ' Was it not a picked 
sample ?"— " I' faith is 't, Colin," rejoined Ogil, " I pick 't it out o' 
SannyMitchell'8bere-stack,as I cam'bythismomin'." Mr Mitchell 
rented a piece of the best land in the neighbourhood ; but Ogil's 
humour secured a purchaser for the barley, whether the stock 
should or should not be equal to the sample shown. When 
people were inclined to boast of their birth or connexion with 
nobility, Ogil would remark, "Ou, ye' 11 be like the laird of 
Skene's bastard dochter, wha said she was not only Noble but 
she was Nignoble." The laird of Ogil's JhcetuB would make no 
nigruMe volume. 

Dr David Doig, though not a native of Brechin, was bom in 
its immediate neighbourhood, and received his early education 
at our schools. His father rented the small farm of Mill of 
Melgund in the adjoining parish of Aberlemno, where David 
was bom in 1719. In his sixteenth year he was the successful 
candidate for a bursary in the University of St Andrews. Hav- 
ing finished the usual course of classical education he commenced 
the study of divinity, but was prevented from completing his. 
studies by some conscientious scraples regarding certam of the 
articles in the Confession of Faith. Thus diverted from his 
intention of entering the Church, he taught for several years in 
the parochial schools of Monifieth in this county, and of Kenno- 
way and Falkland in Fife. In 1740, his reputation as a teacher 
obtained for him the situation of rector of the grammar-school 
of Stirling, where he remained till his death in 1800. Though 
Dr Doig never published any separate work of his own, his con- 
tributions in prose and verse to the EncyclcpoBdia BrUannica^ 
the Scots Magcadne^ the Bee of Dr Anderson, and other respect^ 
able periodicals, would have filled many volumes. The doctor 


lived in terms of the closest intimacy with most of the literary 
men of his time, particularly Lord Kames, Dr Bobertson, Dr 
Anderson, and Hector Macneil, Esq., the latter of whom dedi- 
cated to him his justly popular poem of " Scotland's Scaith, or 
the History of Will and Jean." 

George Rose, a late eminent political character, was bom at 
Woodside of Dunlappy, a parish adjoining to Brechin, on 17th 
January 1744. His father, who was a clergyman of the Scottish 
Episcopal communion, had a brother who kept an academy at 
Hampstead, near London, where young Bose received his edu- 
cation. Having the good fortune to attract the notice of the 
Earl of Sandwich, then at the head of the Admiralty, Bose was 
appointed Keeper of the Becords by this nobleman. After occu- 
pying several subordinate situations in the public offices, Mr Bose 
was, in 1803, made Vice-President, and soon after President of 
the Board of Trade, with a salarj^ of £4000 a-year, in which 
situation he continued till his death in January 1818. Mr Bose 
was the author of ** Observations on the Historical Work of Mr 
Fox," and of several political pamphlets. 

Mr Norman Sievwright was the Eiigliah Episcopal clergyman 
of Brechin of this period. He died on 21st March 1790, in the 
forty-first year of his ministry. He was settled in Brechin, we 
believe, about 1750. Mr Sievwright was a learned man, fully 
impressed with the dignity of the English Episcopal order, in 
contradistinction to the claims of the Scottish bishops. '* He 
was," says his son, Mr John Sievwright, " the champion of the 
Church of England, and of the constitution settled at the Bevo- 
lution in 1688, which brought on him the hatred of the dis- 
afiected party in the country." Mr Norman Sievwright pub- 
lished several works on divinity and controversy, and left behind 
him five manuscripts, one on the Hebrew language, a subject 
upon which he had previously published ; one entitled " A Sup- 
plement to the Ecclesiastical History of Scotland ;" another en- 
titled *' The Church of England Defended ;" and two musical 
pieces, none of which has ever been printed. 

Dr John Gillies, the author of the " History of Greece," and 
of many other works of learning, and long historiogi*apher for 
Scotland to his Majesty, was bom at Brechin on 18th January 


1746, and died in 1836, at the age of ninety. He was the 
brother of Mr Colin Gillies, whom we have just mentioned as a 
com merchant in Brechin, and major of the Brechin Volunteers ; 
and of Mr Adam Oillies, one of the senators of the College of 
Justice, under the title of Lord Gillies. Another brother, Wil- 
liam, was an eminent com factor in London. 

In 1770, great improvements were made in the burgh by the 
removal of outside stairs, projecting gables, and other obstruc- 
tions. Li 1790, similar improvements were effected, and about 
1800 the remaining obstructions of this description were almost 
all swept away. These alterations cost the town council heavy 
sums of money. By these improvements the Timber Market, now 
called Market Street, formerly so obstructed withy&reffAofe, covered 
with thatch, that the fraternity of freemasons were prohibited from 
walking in it by torchlight, became a regular, if not an elegant 
street. The High Street, which previously consisted of as many 
terraces as there were separate houses, was then brought to one 
inclined plane, while, by the removal of the steps at the end of each 
separate pavement, the footway was thrown upon one gradual 
slope. The Upper Wynd, now called St David Street, for- 
merly little else than a sink, was made a respectable thorough- 
fare ; and St Mary's Street, previously scarce wide enough for 
one cart, and disfigured by an unseemly ditch on the north side, 
was made a decent passable street All the other streets met 
with similar improvement& Credit, therefore, belongs to the 
magistracy and town council of this period, and although their 
successors have done much for which they deserve praise, yet we 
must not forget, that in the period succeeding the rebellion of 
1745, improvements first began to be seriously thought of in 
Brechin. Any one who has seen the ancient and decay^ burghs 
of Fife, and will contrast the streets of these burghs with those 
of Brechin, may form some idea of the herculean tasks which 
the town council of Brechin encountered in bringing the city to 
its present state, defective as that may be in the regularity and 
uniformity of the buildings. 



We are now come to our own days, to a period when it would 
be indecorous to animadvert upon public men or the acts of any 
public body. The sequel of our history, therefore, must be con- 
fined to a narration of facts strung together, with little remai'k, 
in the order in which the events occurred 

In 1800, the customs of the burgh brought £71, 5s., and the 
dues of the weigh-house, &c,, £31, 15s. — total, £103 sterling. 
They were let in 1837 — the common customs for £111, and the 
weigh-house dues for £31,— total, £142. It was the practice at 
this period to sell the right of collecting the street dung, and 
this right, in 1800, brought £3, Os. 6d. In this transaction the 
comfort of the inhabitants was but little consulted. The pur- 
chaser of the right claimed the privilege of allowing the inhabi- 
tants to puddle through as much mud as he chose to permit to 
accumulate, till it suited his convenience to collect it and cart it 
away. The Wash Mills for cleaning yam were improved in 
1800, and a new Wash Mill built ; and the Bleachfield, with all 
the mills belonging to it, were then offered by public roup in set 
for seven years, and brought £95. The same premises further- 
improved, together with the Meal Mills, which usually let for 
£26 or £28, were offered, in 1807, for a leaae of twenty-five 
years, and then brought £181. The same subjects, with some 
further additions, partly made by the town, partly by the late 
tenants, were, in 1832, again offered by public roup for a nine- 
teen years' lease, and brought £331 per annum. This shows 
the propriety of giving a tenant such length of lease as may in- 
duce him to make improvements for his own profit, the benefit 


of which the landlord receives at the expiry of the tack. Prior 
to 1807, large sums had been expended at the end of every tri- 
ennial or septennial lease on the improvement of the mills ; and 
the frequent change of tenants led to so many repairs that it was 
often questioned if the tqwn realised any profit from the mills 
and bleachfield. 

Poverty pressed hard on the inhabitants at the commence- 
ment of the century ; provisions were stiU very expensive, and 
the town council found it requisite to subscribe £50 to aid the 
most indigent. The guildry gave £20 for the same purpose, 
and the other mcorporations assisted m the good work. 

The Trinity Muir spring market was established by an act of 
council, dated 25th March 1801, passed in consequence of a re- 
presentation made by the farmers and cattle-dealers in the 
neighbourhood, of the advantage that would arise from a cattle- 
market being held on the third Wednesday of April, yearly ; 
and the market was accordingly held on the 15th April 1801, for 
the first time. This market has continued regularly ever since, 
and has proved of infinite advantage to aU parties interested in 
the cattle trade. 

In 1801, the school fees, on the representation oi the school- 
masters, were increased, and fixed thus: — for teaching of all 
branches of education, 5s. per quarter ; for writing and arith- 
metic, 3s. 6d., and for writing and teaching of English, or for 
teaching of English alone, 3s. per quarter. The charge of 3s. 
6d. for '' writing and arithmetic," was construed, practically, to 
include *' teaching of English." Books were always used at 
these public schools; but we were taught our letters, at a 
private school, from a hroad, a board the size of an octavo page, 
having the alphabet pasted on it ; the broad had a handle, and 
was similar to what is still used in England with the letters 
engraved on it, and is called a '' Horn Book." Our teacher 
wore a cocked hat, a threenstorey-high wig, a waistcoat with 
large pockets, a coat with tails sweeping the ground, and buttons 
the size of a two shillings piece ; knee breeches with buckles, 
and shoes with broad buckles on them, and carried a long cane. 
He was a strict disciplinarian ; read a roll-call of the scholars at 
the hours of assembly each forenoon and afternoon ; punished 


absentees when they did appear, and kept great decorum in his 
school, closing it each Saturday with a long prayer. 

Volunteering was now the rage. In 1803, the "Brechin 
Volunteers," which afterwards became the "Local Militia,' 
were embodied. The town council sij^scribed £21 towards the 
expense of their clothing, and because the bleachfield was used 
as a drill-ground, the tacksman of it was allowed £10 from the 
town for permission to soldier over it. The youths also imitated 
their seniors, and " playing soldiers " was quite the order of the 
day ; and really some of these juvenile troops, with their drums 
and their fifes, their majors and their captains, were wonderful 
near approximations to the regular Volunteers. Dr Bussel re- 
cords the same thing as having occurred in America during the 
recent unfortunate civil war thera 

The state of the cathedral kirk again claimed attention ; the 
old fabric was found to be decayed ; meetings were called, re- 
solutions entered into, and, by general agreement, the aisles of 
the kirk were pulled down, leaving, however, the nave, to which 
new aisles and a new roof were added ; and the whole, at con- 
siderable expense to the heritors, the town, the different incor- 
porations, and the private seat-holders, was converted, in the 
years 1805-7, into a more modem but still inconvenient church. 
Oothic cathedrals never make good Presbyterian kirks ; and the 
Brechin church is no exception to the rule. Previous to the 
rebuilding of the chiu'ch it was customary for deaf people 
to sit in the baptismal seat adjoining the letierin or precen- 
tor's desk; and all the females who sat there then wore the 
Scotch plaid pinned under the chin, and gathered in a fold 
over their caps, secured with a pin or ornament on the forehead, 
— a becoming dress, very like the Spanish mantilla. Similar 
dresses were to be seen b different parts of the church. After 
the repairs on the church very few of the old ladies returned to 
the baptismal seat ; and these few gradually died out ; but a 
solitary plaid might have been seen in 1820. Bed nightcaps 
were then occasionally worn by tradesmen at their work; we 
know now of only one solitary individual thus attired, and who 
made himself very conspicuous at the procession on the occasion 
of the Prince of Wales's marriage, mounted on his charger and 


attired in his bonnet rouge, in the end of last century the mis- 
called emblem of liberty during the revolution in France. 
The broad blue bonnet was also a pretty conmion wear, and 
went out of fashion in like manner as the ladies' plaids. Sub- 
stantial farmers wore the bonnet, as did respectable trades- 
men; but merchant burgesses used that uncomfortable head- 
dress the hat, ever since we recollect. The person who 
then officiated as precentor in the old church was a David 
Simpson, who, having held the office of deacon of the 
shoemakers, was generally known as Deacon Simpson. The 
line was then generally read, that is, the precentor or " letter 
gae," read a line of the psalm, and sung this line in conjunction 
with the congregation, then read and sung a second line, and so 
on till the psalm to be sung was completed. Simpson had a 
stentorian voice, and when making a proclamation of banns 
caused the church to ring with the words, " There is a purpose 
of marriage between A and B ; if any person has any objections 
let them give it in, in proper time, or for ever after hold their 
peace." The deacon also disappeared with the auld kirk. In the 
old church, as now, each incorporation had a loft of its own, then 
however decorated in front with the arms of the trade and suit- 
able pious inscriptions. The scholars also had a loft assigned to 
them; a small erection perched above that belonging to the 
town council, and where, as may be believed, when a number of 
young men were assembled together in a dingy place, anything 
but religious studies went on, even although the masters were 

The Common Den, to which we have adverted in a previous 
part of this work, was let, in 1805, for a rent of £19, lOs. upon a 
lease of three years, as a tentative measure of the right of the 
council to do so, but after some wrangling with the trades, the 
title of the council was acquiesced in. Upon the expiry of the 
first lease, the subjects were again let for another three years, at 
a rent of £21 per annum, to November 1811. 

New office-houses were built jointly by the heritors and town 
council, for the accommodation of the second minister in 1807. 

The ringing of the mtickle bell was to us, as we doubt not it 
was to many of our readers, a source of considerable amusement 


in our boyish days. So much had the tolling of the bell become 
the province of the boys, that it was almost n^lected by the 
beadles of the kirk; and the council, in 1809, authorised the 
magistrates '* to engage a person for ringing the great bell in 
the steeple, regularly every day and night, at the following 
hours, viz., at seven in the morning and eight at night in 
winter ; and, during the spring, summer, and autumn at six 
o'clock in the morning and eight in the evening ; and upon the 
Saturday of each week, also, at ten o'clock at night — being 
thrice that day ; and to continue ringing said bell at the fore- 
said hours for the space of one quarter of an hour." The per- 
son then engaged, James Craig, continued to ring the bell 
regularly as pointed out in this minute, till his death, about 
1840, and the young folks still continued to get a swing in the 
tow at the last toll. We were very much struck, when going to 
satisfy ourselves in regard to the dates of the bells, in reference 
to the first edition of this little work, to observe that the younkers 
who crowded round the ringer, were the sons of those with whom 
we ourselves had been so often similarly engaged, and many of 
the fathers of whom lay in the graves around The steeples are 
the same, the bells are the same, the ringers are changed ; one 
generation having succeeded another, as one crop follows another 
in succession. We find now, however, that the present official, 
Barney (/NeiU, does the whole work himself, and that there is 
no more tugging at the bell tows for the little lads. 

The table of petty customs was regulated, of new, in 1809, 
• printed and published, and has been since acted upon, although 
abstruse enough in some points. 

In the same year, 1809, on the death of Mr William Dovertie, 
who had supplanted the doctor of the Grammar School, Mr 
Greorge Alexander was elected parochial schoolmaster, fix)m 
which office he was worthily promoted to that of rector of the 
Grammar School in December 1833. He has now retired from 
scholastic duties, and enjoys from the council a well-merited 
pension, while an elegant portrait of the worthy gentleman, by 
Mr Golvin Smith, adorns the Mechanics' Hall, and records the 
gratitude of his numerous pupils, at whose expense it was 
painted. In the same year, 1809, the house near the West 


Port, called Carcary's House, was bought of Mr Lyall of Car- 
cary, with the view of accommodating the schoolmasters and 
schoolmistresses with schools and dwelling-houses : but, although 
partially occupied by some of the teachers, as tenants, under the 
town council, it has never been found expedient to apply the 
property to the purpose for which it was ostensibly purchased. 
In 1811, it was proposed to erect new schools; and the year 
following a piece of ground, formerly occupied as a corn-yard 
and tannage, was purchased and converted into public schools. 
The expense was defrayed by subscriptions from the heritors, 
town councfl, and private individuals. The whole expense, as 
recorded in a minute of council of 28th May 1814, was £1216, 
17s. 4d. For this sum a building containing three school-rooms 
was erected, plain, but neat, ornamented with a belfry on the 
top, containing a wooden bell, and embellished with a rather 
handsome Aodsrface below the belfry, the funds for purchasing 
a genuine bell and clock not having been procured; but the 
great improvement effected by this erection, was the removal of 
a nasty bam, a quantity of ill-built stacks, and a filthy tan-yard, 
at the principal entry to the town from the west, at the point 
where the Lower Wynd, now called Church Street, and St 
Mary's Street meet, being the exact site which Lord Panmure 
chose for the handsome structure erected by him in 1838, to 
replace the schools and afford accommodation for a library and a 
mechanics' institution. 

Mr Dovertie, whose death we have just mentioned, dressed 
till the last of his days in knee-breeches with buckles, long coat 
with broad tails, and ties in his shoes, whUe he carried a cane 
about six feet long, grasped by his hand towards the top. A 
gentleman, a baker in town, and a member of the town council 
of this period, dressed in the same style, with the addition of a 
pigtail tie of his hair behind. Another party wore broad buckles 
in his shoes for twenty years after thi& These signs of old 
feshions gradually died out, as did the custom amongst gentle- 
men of wearing hair-powder, which was practised by a few down 
to 1820. 

The habits of the people of this period were still very hos- 
pitable — too hospitable. A laird in the vicinity, recommending 


a gentleman for a public office, described him as ''an honest 
man and a fair drinker." But the " full flowing bowl" gradually 
gave place to the tumbler and glass ; in place of every man 
being obliged to empty his glass in due course, and send it 
in to have it refilled with the rest at the bowl — ^the weak with 
the strong — each man brewed his own tumbler and filled his own 
glass, and drank according to his ability for potations. The 
drinking habits of the present day are bad enough, but they are 
nothing to what they were within our recollection and our own 
experience; and, indeed, they appear to have gradually gone 
down from one claas to another, till now the custom of drinking 
to excess seems to be limited to the very lowest class of society. 

A juvenile society was instituted in 1811 amongst the young 
men of literary pursuits, and existed for several years, the mem- 
bers devoting an hour very early each mommg, during summer, 
for discussing literary subjects. The ages of the members of this 
juvenile assemblage ranged from twelve to fourteen. This club 
merged into a debating society when the members attained a few 
more years and a little more experience. Similar debating 
societies have since, from time to time, been called into exist- 
ence in the burgh ; ceased, and been again renewed. 

In 1812, the council passed an act regulating the mode of 
warning out tenants within the burgh, by which, at an expense 
of Is. 9d., this necessary form is put through. In place of a 
penny above a pound Scots, the same process costs nearly a pound 
sterling without the burgh. In the same year, the town pur- 
chaaed an acre of land from Mr John Gray, part of which has 
since been added to the Den at the north end, having indeed 
been bought at the time for this purpose, with the view of the 
Den being converted into nursery ground. Accordingly, on 11th 
May 1812, the Common Den was let by public roup to Mr John 
Henderson, for the purpose of being converted into a nursery, 
the rent being £21 per annum for the first ten years ; £25 for 
the next seven years;, and £30 for other seven years, the tack 
running for twenty-four years. At the expiry of his leaae Mr 
Henderson retook the property, jointly v^rith his sons, for twenty- 
seven years, at a yearly rent of £61. Hence the town now de- 
rives a large revenue from a piece of ground which was previously 


all but ufielesB. This year, 1812, was a hard season upon the poor 
in the burgh, and the council united with the heritors in raising 
a subscription for the aid of the poor in the parish. It was in this 
same year that Provost Thomas Molison, piqued by the inatten- 
tion of the then member of Parliament for this district of burghs, 
who considered the whole as pocket burghs which he could twist 
as he pleased, and who therefore did not deem it necessary even 
to call on the council, far less on the community of the burgh, — 
it was in this year that Provost Molison, when called on as a 
del^ate from Brechin for his vote, declared that he voted for 
himself, and thus gave rise to an opposition, and to the intro- 
duction of a Liberal instead of a Conservative member of Par- 

The landed proprietors and farmers in the eastern district of 
Angus formed themselves into an agricultural association in 
1814. The society still continues, and has done much to im- 
prove the breed of cattle and the implements of husbandry in the 
district. It has two meetings annually, and reckons Brechin as 
its head-quarters, although cattle shows are held in different 
parts of the county for the accommodation of the farmers. 

In 1816, the council agreed to allow the master of the parish 
school £13 to assist in paying an assistant. This vote was re- 
newed from year to year till 1821, when £500 were raised by 
subscription, and vested in the hands of the town council to pay 
an assistant or third teacher ; and when the schools were divided 
in 1834, this annuity of £25 was assigned to the burgh school- 
master. Of the money thus raised, by fitr the largest part was 
contributed by the town council. 

There is a long entry in the council book of April 1816, ap- 
proving of the table of customs then fixed for the Montrose har- 
bour ; and in November of the same year the council added to 
their own customs by rouping, for the first time, the use of a weigh- 
ing machine then erected, and which brought, as rent for one year, 
£4, 48. The same machine brought in 1837 the rent of £6, 6s. 

The year 1817 commences, in the' records of council, with a 
minute characteristic of the then state of the times. An address 
is voted to the Prince R^ent, afterwards Qeorge IV., " upon his 
escape from the late daring attempt upon his person in returning 


from the House of Peers ;" and a committee of comicil is named 
to meet with a committee of the inhabitants, petitioning for re- 
trenchment and reform in the administration of public affairs. 

In 1816 and 1817, the weavers were very much distressed for 
want of work in Brechin ; to alleviate which, in part, the town 
council employed a number of people to trench the ground, for- 
merly under wood, now known as the town's parks, and lying 
immediately south of Murlingden. From the same generous 
motive, Lord Panmure caused the ground at the Haughmuir, 
then known as the Haughmuir Wood, to be trenched, and gave 
a preference in his employment to the inhabitants of Brechin ; 
and the ground thus trenched is now occupied as a farm by Mr 
George Henderson. 

In 1816 meal was dear, and a Meg Inglis, a fishwife in Mon- 
trose, gathering her sisterhood from Ferryden, took possession of 
that town and mobbed the farmers, crying for a reduction in the 
price of the staff of life. A Rob Buxton, a tailor in Montrose 
came to Brechin and paraded the streets, blowing a horn, and 
sunmioning the Brechiners to the aid of the Montrosians ; and 
although we believe no Brechin man or woman responded to the 
summons, the poor silly man was tried for this overt act of trea- 
son and banished for seven years. 

In May 1817, the right of pasturage of the grass on the Tri- 
nity Muir market-stance was let for the first time, and brought 
a rent of 158. The same right was let in 1838 for £5. This 
year, 1817, the council were again obliged to extend their aid to 
the poor of the town, and to import and sell, at a reduced price, 
a quantity of barley for the use of the inhabitants of the burgh. 
Almost every two or three years since, some public subscription 
or other has been raised for the poor, at times wholly by the laity, 
and unconnected with the Kirk or SixUe, at other times by the 
heritors and council in aid of the kirk-session funds. 

Burgh and Parliamentary reform began now to be seriously 
discussed. The guildry, in October 1817, petitioned to have the 
right of electing their dean, who should be received, ex officio^ as 
a member of council ; and, in December, the trades, in like 
manner, applied to the council to have the liberty of electing the 
second trades' councillor, they having the right at that time to 


choose the convener, who, by the sett of the burgh, formed one 
of the 13 members of council, consisting of 11 guildrymen and 
2 tradesmen. The council pronounced a legal-like decision on 
these petitions, declaring that thej had no power to alter the 
existii^ sett of the burgh. This did not give satisfaction. At 
the booking of the dean, named by the council in 1817, the 
guildry went into open rebellion; and, at the next election of 
magistrates in September 1818, protests were entered against the 
selection of councillors and office-bearers. A process of reduc- 
tion followed in the Court of Session. The deacons of the trades, 
the prosecutors, lost heart, and proposed to withdraw the action 
upon each party paying their own costs. The town council re- 
fused this offer; the war was renewed; a new election came 
round in 1819; new protests were entered; new proposals of 
compromise were made; parties became more moderate; the 
action was withdrawn ; and the council, guildry, and trades, all 
applied to the Convention of Boyal Burghs in 1820 so far to 
modify the sett of this burgh as to allow the dean, chosen by the 
guildry incorporation, to be received by the council as dean of 
guild and m^nber of council, and to give to the trades the right 
of electing the oonvener and trades' councillor, who were to be 
received in council as the trades' members accordingly. The 
Convention agreed to the request ; and the sett, as thus altered, 
remained the constitution of the burgh till 1832, when the Burgh 
Reform Act put all incorporations on their beam-ends, and vested 
the right of electing councillors in the householders possessing 
property of the value of £10 per annum. 

In 1818, the trades made a long act, ordaining that the dea- 
cons who had a vote in the election of magistrates, although in 
no other act of the council, and the deacon convener, who was ex 
officio a member of council, should consult the trades before vot- 
ing on the leets of magistrates proposed by the council for their 
consideration, and that signed lists should be tendered by the 
deacons to their constitaent& In 1819, says the trades' record, 
" it having been resolved that the deacon oonvener and deacons 
should not vote in the electbn of magistrates this year, no signed 
lists were made out'' In 1820, '' they dispensed with the signed 
lists for this year only," and no more is heard of the matter. 


When the right to elect a trades' councillor was obtained by the 
six incorporations, however, they adopted a set of very judicious 
regulations or by-laws for the regulation of the election. 

The agitation of these questions led one of the unincorporated 
trades, the wrights, to endeavour to shake off the burden im- 
posed upon them of furnishing a quota of men to attend the 
chartered markets as a guard to the magistrates ; but, after a 
process on the subject, the wrights were found to be liable with 
the other trades in this service. 

A new market, or " Tryst,'* as it is called, was established by 
the council in August 1819, and appointed to be held on the 
Trinity Muir market-stance upon the Tuesday preceding the last 
Wednesday of September yearly. This market was appointed at 
the request of the farmers in the neighbourhood, and has, we 
believe, been found fully to answer the expectations of those who 
petitioned for its establishment, and for whose encouragement 
the market was exempted from all custom for three years. 

The road up the Path was widened and the steepness greatly 
removed in 1818 and 1822, at no little expense, but certainly 
much to the advantage of those having to carry heavy weights 
by that road. A railway, too, was planned between Brechin and 
Montrose in 1818 ; but, after much canvassing, was dropped, as 
not likely to yield proper returns, because a short line of that 
description is nearly as expensive in working as one of thrice the 

The town-officers had been long in the practice, on the first 
Monday of the year, agreeable to the old style, or Handsel Mon- 
day, as it was called, of waiting upon all the inhabitants of any 
means and wishing them a good new year, expecting a douceur 
in return. The practice was found to lead to partialities by 
these officials in the discharge of their duties, and was abolished 
in 1819, when each of the officers was allowed SOs. in lieu of 
those " handsel fees," 

The two small bells belonging to the kirk were so damaged 
by tolling, the one on the occasion of the death of Queen Char- 
lotte, consort of Gleorge III., and the other on the occasion of 
the interment of an old lady belonging to the town, that the 
council were obliged to have them both recast in 1820, and since 


then the practice of tolling the bells at private funerals has been 
discontinued, although, when royalty is laid in the dust, the bells 
are yet tolled under the direction of the regular bell-ringer. 

In February 1821 the council appointed sworn valuators, to 
appraise the properties held in feu of them, when these subjects 
should be in non-entry, upon which occasion the council stated it 
as their unanimous opinion, 'Hhat a composition of two third 
parts of the rents, payable to the vassals, should be demanded 
and paid to the superiors, that is, of the yearly rent where the 
houses or tenements are new and in good repair, but a smaller 
proportion if the houses are old and in bad repair ; but, in all 
cases, a full year's rent of the vassal's land, which is cropped, 
ought to be demanded." This rule has been acted upon ever 
since, but the council are not rigid over-lords. 

George lY. visited Scotland in 1822, when the council of 
Brechin, following the example of other burghs, voted him a 
loyal address ; and further voted £10, 10s. of a subscription to- 
wards the bronze statue of that king which now stands in 
Gteorge's Street, Edinburgh. 

Mr John Wood, engineer, from Edinburgh, was, at this time, 
travelling Scotland, making plans of each burgh, and the town 
council of Brechin subscribed for ten copies of his plan of the 
town of Brechin. Mr Wood was successful in procuring other 
subscriptions, and the plan was accordingly completed and pub- 
lished in 1823. 

On 6th March 1823 the heckle-houses at the Muckle Mill took 
fire, in consequence of an escape of gas, as was understood, from 
one of the pipes of the private gas work belonging to the mill. 
The whole range of these buildings, with the materials in them, 
were destroyed, although water was in abundance in the neigh- 
bourhood, and every exertion was made to save the premises. 
Luckily for the parties interested, an insurance had been effected, 
a few days before, with the Sun Fire Office, to almost the value 
of the buildings and flax thus destroyed. 

A public Dispensary, for affording medicines to the poor of 
the place, was established in 1823, and was then so endowed 
from subscriptions and donations, that it was enabled to supply 
all demands upon it, with very few occasional calls on the richer 


members of the community. Somehow the Dispensary gradu- 
ally fell into abeyance, but now there is a prospect of its resusci- 
tation in connexion with an Infirmary. 

A bridge at the Stannochy Ford, over the river South Esk, was 
begun in 1823, and towards the erection the council gave £42 
from the corporation fimds. The other expenses were defrayed 
by the heritors in the immediate neighbourhood. A grand pro- 
cession of the magistrates, town council, and incorporations, 
along with the masonic bodies, was formed ; and the foundation- 
stone was laid in great style, dinners of course following, and the 
health of the worthy builder, Mr William Smith of Montrose, 
being duly pledged 

About this time died Cruizin, a well-known blind beggar, who 
had frequented Brechin and the surroimding country for fifty 
years, and amused old and young with his songs. 

" His name was Jamie ; but the rest, alas ! 

Has vanished from my memory. 

* We *11 gang nae mair a Cruizin'/ was one song, 
But he had many, though from that there came 
The sound which most amused the listening throng. 
And hence the title Cbuizin grew a name." 

So sung Mr James Bowick, editor of the Montrose Review^ when 
announcing in that paper the death of Cruizin. The poet him- 
self, alas I is since numbered with the dead,-a worthy, simple- 
minded, good man he was. 

A railway along Strathmore was projected in 1825, and the 
council of Brechin subscribed £10, 10s. towards the expense of 
the survey from Brechin to Forfar. The project went no further 
than a plan, but has been again and again renewed, and must be 
perfected at some future period from Laurencekirk by Brechin 
to Forfar, as the scheme is easily practicable and certain to pay. 

An unfortunate fire happened this year in a stable belonging 
to a publican, who had converted part of the old Maisondieu 
Chapel into a receptacle for carriers' horses. It was supposed 
that one of the carriers had carelessly snuffed a candle, and 
thrown the snuff unextinguished amongst the wet straw ; so it 
was that the straw was consumed, and, though no flame was ob- 
served, such a smoke arose that all the horses were destroyed. 


The misfortune was discovered by the stamping of the horses, 
and when the stable-door was opened one of the animals burst 
from its stall, rushed to the door, turned suddenly round, leaped 
a paling of some eight feet high, and fell dead. Others expired 
in their stalls. Two or three lingered for days imable to eat or 
drink. Eight or ten very valuable horses were thus destroyed. 
Two gray horses, of great size and strength, and of very consi- 
derable sagacity, survived longest. It was really melancholy to 
see the sufferings of these poor brutes, and no less melancholy to 
observe the distress of their driver, who spoke of them as friends, 
and bestowed as much attention upon them as he could have 
done upon his own family. The poor horses seemed really sen- 
sible of, and grateful foi*, their driver's kindness. 

The East Back Yennel was widened and its steepness lessened 
in 1827, and it was then dignified with the title of " City Road." 
The Latch Road, formerly a mere swamp, was made out the 
same season, and has since given an opportunity for building a 
number of neat villas in that part of the town. An arrangement 
was also this year made with David Blair, Esq. of Cookston, in 
regard to the Dove Wells, by which the rights of the town and 
of Mr Blair were distinctly defined in a decree^arbitral, pro- 
nounced by Andrew Robertson, Esq. , Sheriff-substitute of For- 
farshire; and in consequence of which arrangement, and the 
improvements made in virtue of it, the town was well supplied 
with water, till the increasing population lately demanded an 
addition. In the December of this year also the council renewed 
an old act, by which any party proposing to build within the 
burgh is obliged to call the dean of guild, with one of the bailies, 
to the spot, and to satisfy them and his neighbours regarding his 
plans. This mode of proceeding has been found highly advan- 
tageous for the public, and greatly destructive of litigation ; for 
where disputes do exist, as they will exist, regarding petty 
marches, the parties interested being confronted before judges, 
anxious to bring them to an agreement, do almost always make 
arrangements, frequently for the advantage of both, and which 
arrangements would not have been thought of had each stood on 
his rights and gone to law to ascertain who was wrong. The 
proceedings are conducted by printed formal papers, which ter- 



minate in what is called a building warrant, and the whole 
expense varies from 28. 6d. to 58. It is but bare justice to the 
legal gentlemen to say that they have done everything in their 
power to make this summary court, so prejudicial to their inter- 
ests, work to advantage, and it does accordingly work well for 
the public. 

The lands called the Crofts of Brechin, were bought by the 
council in 1828. These lands had belonged to a Mr M'Crregor, 
servant to the Duchess of Perth, who went abroad with his 
mistress in 1747, after the fall of Prince Charles's party, to which 
she was devoted ; and, in the absence of the proprietor, the titles 
had got into confusion in consequence of heritable securities 
granted by him, very likely with the view of avoiding a forfeit- 
ure of the ground, to which he had rendered himself liable by his 
connexion with the Stuarts. All matters were, however, cleared 
up, and the council became absolute proprietors of a piece of 
ground upon which they had long exercised the right of holding 
a market. Being vested with the absolute right, the council 
enclosed the ground and changed the site of the weekly cattle- 
market, held each Tuesday during winter, from the Crofts to 
the Timber Market, alike to the advantage of the proprietors of 
the Timber Market, now Market Street, as to the comfort of the 
farmers, who, in the Croft Market, were often wading ankle-deep 
among mud. Since then Clerk Street has been widened, Pan- 
mure Street made, and the long street called Southesk Street has 
been formed mainly from the Crofts lauds, as noticed afterwards. 

Another change, by a different body, but one no less an im- 
provement, was made this year. On 25th September 1828, the 
six trades entered this act in their minute-book : " Which day, 
the deacon convener, deacons and trades* councillor, and whole 
trades having met, and deliberately considered the serious incon- 
veniences resulting to the trades from the practice of meeting in 
the churchyard for the purpose of their annual elections, both 
from the inclemency of the weather and the disturbance and an- 
noyance of the multitude, as well as considering the impropriety, 
if not indecency, of assembling multitudes and transacting their 
business over the graves of their ancestors and of their friends 
and families, have unanimously resolved, enacted, statuted, and 


ordained, that, in future, the whole trades shall assemble in their 
ordinary place of meeting for the purpose of electing the deacon 
convener, trades' councillor, their respective deacons, and other 
office-bearers ; and appoint this regulation and minute to be en- 
grossed in the record of the respective incorporations." In con- 
sequence of this enactment, the subsequent elections of the trades 
have been held in the Mason Lodge, which they selected as 
" their ordinary place of meeting." We recollect enjoying a very 
hearty laugh at the last election which took place in the burying- 
ground, although certainly the place forbade such demonstrations. 
On the occasion alluded to, we had wandered into the kirkyard 
to notice the excitement created by the elections ; and, observing 
three individuals seated demurely on a burial-stone, we approached 
them just as the clock struck eleven, and just as the three indi- 
viduals started up into active life. One produced a paper, and 
read, " The T. trade have leeted A. and B. for deacons — any 
objections to that leet?" said the reader, Deacon C. " None," 
replied A. ; " None," replied B. — " For whom do you vote. Dea- 
con A, ?" said C. " For myself," rejoined A. — " For whom do you 
vote, Deacon B. ?" " For A.," replied he.—" And I vote for A.," 
added C, " and that settles that election." He read again from 
his paper, ** The T. trade have leeted C. and B. for treasurer— 7 
any objections to the leet ?" None were oflfered. ** For whom 
do you vote, Deacon A.?" " For B.," was the answer. — " For 
whom do you vote. Deacon B. ?" " For myself," was the reply. 
— ^" And I vote for B.," said Deacon C, " and that closes the 
election." These three worthies were the whole members of the 
trade who had a right to vote, or, at least, who chose to exercise 
the right of voting at elections ; and accordingly they handed 
the two offices about amongst themselves quite in an agreeable 

This year died Alexander Malcolm, one of the public charac- 
ters of Brechin. For more than half a century Sandy had picked 
up a living by " gatherin' bawbees for himsel," as he phrased it ; 
and on each public occasion, be it sorrowing or rejoicing, wedding 
or burial, Sandy bore an active part, although the king's birth- 
day, kept as it was in the days of George III. by a general satur- 
nalia on 4th June, was the principal occasion through the year 


on which Sandy chose to disport. Mr Bowick, in his sketches of 
characters, describes " Sandy Maukim" as 

" Ane curious wight, of stature low, 
Withouten trews to clothe his naked knee, 
But clad in petticoat, that down did flow, 
With fringes tattered to ane great degree. 
No leathern shoon upon his feet had he, 
But worsted huggars, which contrived to hide 
His legs and feet." 

Malcolm was a great wag, and fond of a glass, partly rogue, 
partly simpleton. He had the misfortune to break his leg ono 
winter, being, as was alleged, much inebriated at the time. A 
pious clergyman in town called to pray with Siindy, and rated 
him soundly for his inebriety, to which the minister ascribed the 
misfortune of the broken leg. Sandy denied the charge, but the 
clergyman persisted in it ; and Malcolm, hard pressed, burst out 
in a sly manner with, " How 's Mrs Burns's leg ?" The pastor's 
most worthy lady had met with a similar accident, certainly not 
from the same cause, although Sandy insinuated as much, to get 
rid of the good man's further reproofs. Malcolm might be styled 
the King of the Beggars. Before the legal assessment for the 
poor was commenced in 1841, the administration of the funds 
provided for the purpose was in the hands of the kirk-session ; 
but the regular recognised poor of the town paraded the burgh 
each Thursday forenoon, and stopped at every door where they 
expected an ** aumous," when the charity was dealt out to them 
generally in the shape of a halfpenny to each. If the giver was 
not provided with copjiers, then Sandy Maukim took charge of 
the coin given, and ruled and distributed, it was said, in a very 
imperious manner. This practice of public begging gave rise to 
the children's cry, now all but forgotten, " Fuirsdae 's the puir's 
dae ; Fridae 's the bride s day ; and Saturdae we get a' the play." 
The same practice prevailed in other towns. Public begging 
was put down by the town council in February 1839, at the re- 
quest of the aggregate committee of the heritors, kirk-session, 
and town council, then in management of the fimds raised, partly 
by voluntary subscription, for the maintenance of the poor of the 


A printing-office was, for the first time, established in Brechin 
in 1829. Our first edition issued from the Brechin press, and 
displayed a fair specimen of typography. The principal em- 
ployment of the Brechin printers was the printing of handbills, 
circulars, and the like. The press was found to be a great con- 
venience to the inhabitants, who were formerly obliged to go to 
Montrose or Forfar for anything which they required in the 
printing line. Now there are two printing establishments in 
Brechin, at one of which The Brechin Advertiser^ a weekly 
journal published each Tuesday, is printed. 

Most of the rivers in [Scotland were greatly flooded in August 
1829. The South Esk rose far above ita banks, covered the 
greater part of the Inch, and put the inhabitants of the Lower 
Tenements, now termed, appropriately enough. River Street, in 
a state of blockade, the whole road from the Ford-mouth down 
to the bridge being under water, in some places to the depth of 
two or three feet \ but no serious damage was done, and indeed 
the people on the banks of the South Esk had to congratulate 
themselves that few who lived near rivers escaped so ea«ly. 

The death of George IV. and accession of William IV. led to 
a new election of Parliament in 1830, and an entry in the coun* 
cil books of the time is strongly characteristic of the excitement 
then prevailing. This entry bears that letters were laid on the 
table from Mr Joseph Hume, the then late member for this dis- 
trict of burghs, soliciting to be re-elected ; "also a letter of 3d 
July, on the same subject, from the Honourable J. E. Kennedy 
Erskine of Dun ; and a similar letter from Mr Lindsay of Edin- 
burgh on behalf of Captain Ross of Bossie ; and it was also stated 
that Sir James Carnegie, Bart, of Southesk, and Mr Smith, of 
the house of Messrs Smith, Payne, & Smiths of London, had ap- 
plied verbally to the council." Mr Hume was returned to serve 
in that Parliament for Middlesex, and Sir James Carnegie was 
elected for this district after a keen and ouiro/geoua contest. Mr 
Boss succeeded Sir James in the next Parliament, and he again 
was succeeded by Mr Chalmers of Aldbar. On the occasion of 
the contest in 1830, the Brechin press, then recently established, 
was called into active duty, and there being no local newspaper 
till years afterwards, the candidates for Parliamentary and civic 


honours generally applied to the printing-office for spreading, 
in the shape of placards or circular letters, either their own 
merits or the demerits of their rivals, and occasionally both. 
King William was proclaimed at the cross of Brechin by Andrew 
Robertson, Esq., then Sheriff-substitute of Forfarshire, on 3d July 
1830, in presence of the magistrates, council, and community. 

The butcher trade purchased up, in 1830, an immunity from 
the service of attending the magistrates to the fairs ; and the craft 
having sold all their property, and divided their funds amongst 
the members, the butchers ceased to exist either as a corporation 
or society. Unfortunately almost all the other societies in the 
town, and indeed in Scotland, followed a similar course, and 
thus a source of support for the aged and sick was at once with- 
drawn, the effect of which has since been severely felt Doubt- 
less these friendly societies were founded upon erroneous data, 
but the regulations of most of them might have been altered, 
and the scales of contribution and disbursement adjusted so as 
to meet each other. The Government had passed acts for the 
improvement of these societies ; the contributors became appre- 
hensive that Government meant to take hold of their funds, and 
hence the almost universal breaking up which followed the act 
of Parliament. To add to the evil in Brechin, a Savings Bank, 
which had existed for many years, also began to fall into disre- 
pute, and was finally dissolved about this time. However, under 
acts of Parliament for the encouragement of Savings Banks, 
a new agency was opened in 1847, as a branch of the Montrose 
Savings Bank, and was converted into a principal bank in 1852, 
and, as a principal bank, is in a very thriving condition. It is 
open every Tuesday evening in the parochial school-room, under 
charge of Mr David Prain, the parochial schoolmaster, and a 
committee of gentlemen as managers. 

The council, in this year, 1830, for the first time, organised a 
set of s{)ecial constables, a body which proved of considerable 
advantage in preserving the peace of the burgh, but which is 
now superseded by the regular police. About forty gentlemen 
were annually sworn in, who elected from among themselves a 
captain for the whole, with a lieutenant and ensign for each of 
the three districts into which the town was divided ; the first, or 


north division, comprehending all to the north of the Upper 
West Wynd, (St David Street ;) the third, or south division, com- 
prehending all to the south of the South Port ; and the second, 
or centre division, comprehending all that lay between the other 

Cholera visited Brechin in 1831-32, and a board of health was 
formed in consequence, under sanction of a proclamation by his 
Majesty in council. The cases of actual cholera which occurred 
were few, not exceeding a dozen, but bowel complaints were very 
common at the time. It is, however, worthy of remark, that the 
general health of the community was not bad, and that there 
were fewer deaths this winter than usual. It may be question- 
able how far a board, such as that alluded to, can prevent conta- 
gion ; but certainly this board did much in removing nuisances, 
and we must say that the burgh has been more cleanly since the 
alarm of cholera. In aid of the funds of the board of health a 
concert was given by a number of amateurs, followed by a ball, 
and the affair was a very successful one, although some severely 
censured piping and dancing at such a time. These concerts 
and balls for charitable purposes were pretty frequent for some 
seasons about these years, when amongst the gentlemen of the 
town there were many of good musical abilities Subscription 
balls or assemblies amongst the ladies and gentlemen occurred 
every winter in those days, and were always well attended. May 
they soon be renewed 1 

Amongst the victims to the cholera were the wife and daugh- 
ter of one of the Brechin characters, a poor but honest man, 
David Walker. This person, generally styled " Davidie Walker," 
was the regular, and for long the only carrier between Brechin 
and Arbroath. Davidie generally rode his cart, driving horses 
that seemed to have escaped from the tan-yard, purposely to keep 
him company, but animals which he was wont to describe as 
" fine norse, fine norse, fit for a caravan." The distance tra- 
velled was about twelve miles; and David, steady in all his 
movements, seldom occupied more than six or seven hours in 
travelling the road. Well, one fine frosty evening, David left 
Arbroath in the pale moonshine, about his usual hour, six o'clock, 
and progressed his way to Brechin with his load, drawn tandem 


fashion ; and to beguile the way David had one outside passenger, 
a sprig of womankind, seated on the top of his vehicle, while his 
faithful cur walked by the side of the cart. Matters went on 
swingingly, certainly not smoothly, till about mid- way, when 
j)oor David's cart stuck fast in the muA The cattle were 
whipped, the shoulder was applied to the vehicle, but all in vain, 
move it would not. David, however, was fertile in devices ; he 
loosed the tracer, leaped on its back, left the cart and wheel- 
horse in charge of his dog, and desiring the woman to sit still 
went off, giving her this assurance, " There's help at hand, help 
at hand." The poor woman sat till benumbed by cold, when she 
thought of leaving the top of the Ciirt to take a little exercise. 
Then she, for the first time, discovered that truly Help was at 
liand ; for David's dog, faithful to its charge, would allow no- 
thing to leave the cart, and the poor female was compelled by 
Help (the dog) to keep her seat on the top of the cart for six 
hours, starving of hunger, and almost frozen to an icicle, till 
David arrived from Brechin with a third horse to pull her out 
of the mire. 

The mode of conveyance between Brechin and Forfar at this 
time was not much more expeditious. It consisted of an omni- 
bus drawn by a pair of horses, which poor animals, with the 
exchange with a third horse at Finhaven, did the journey of 
twenty-six miles, out and in, each working day. The expedition 
with which the vehicle travelled may be illustrated by the fact, 
that two young Edinburgh boys left our house one morning, 
under charge of the driver^ to proceed to Forfar ; but when the 
driver opened the door in the end of the omnibus at Forfar to let 
out his passengers, no boys were to be found there, — ^the truth 
being that the youngsters, noticing the slow mode of conveyance, 
had, without the driver's knowledge, repeatedly left the coach, 
and played their ball along the road, resuming their seats when 
tired with walking ; but the driver, as he neared Forfar, having 
gone off at a more rapid rate, the young men were left behind, 
and unable to overtake the omnibus till it reached Forfar. 

The alarm of the cholera, it was thought by some, presented 
an opportunity for establishing a temperance society, an institu- 
tion which, notwithstanding the many good eflects it was calcu- 


lated to promote, scarce outlived the year 1832, in which it had 
its rise. A similar society has since been renewed, and now 
reckons a respectable number of members. 

A new road, direct between Dundee and Brechin by the Stan- 
nachy Bridge, through the parish of Aberlemno, and by the vil- 
lage of Letham to the old road at Luckyslap, was planned in 
1832, and partly executed in that and the following year. The 
town council of Brechin subscribed £2C)0 to assist the under- 
taking, but it has been of little, if any, advantage to the burgh. 

On 21st August 1832, the first list of persons claiming right 
to choose a member of Parliament, as proprietors or occupants of 
subjects of the value of £10, was made up under the act then 
recently passed. The total number of persons who so claimed 
was 237, of whom 9 were found disqualified, either from errors 
in their claims or other causes, thus leaving a constituency of 
228, in place of the 13 members of council who formerly pos- 
sessed this right. Of these parties only 38 now survive. 

The Honourable William Maule of Panmiure, then member 
of Parliament for the county, was, in 1832, called to the house 
of peers by the title of Lord Panmure, and in honour of the 
event a dinner was given in the Town Hall, on Tuesday 20th 
September, *' to drink (as a handbill in our possession states) 
farewell to the Hon. William Maule, and many happy days to 
Baron Panmure of Brechin and Navar." The provost presided, 
the bailies were croupiers, the town-clerk was treasurer ; and the 
affair, a truly corporate one, passed off in great style, — ^for Mr 
Maule was loved by rich and poor. 

The death of the rector of the grammar school, Mr Linton, 
who had been teacher in Brechin for half a century, gave an 
opportunity, in 1832-33, of new modelling the schools; and 
after a great deal of consultation, and no little bickering, it was 
arranged that there should be three teachers, a rector to teach 
the languages and higher branches of education, a parochial 
schoolmaster to teach English reading, writing, and arithmetic, 
the branches naturally expected to be taught in a parish school ; 
and a burgh schoolmaster who should teach the same branches ; 
as the population of the town and parish seemed to afford ample 
field for two teachers of these, the really necessary branches of 


education. The schools have been thus regulated mostly ever 
since, changes attempted in the arrangement not having been 
found to work well ; but a new arrangement has recently been 
made, by constituting the burgh school into a jimior school. In 
a place the size of Brechin, there is not room for minute sub- 
divisions of the labour of teaching, nor is there wealth sufficient 
for the increase of fees to which sub-division necessarily leada 
The patrons were lucky in selecting teachers for the schools of 
Brechin, which, no doubt, contributed considerably to the well 
working of the system of teaching adopted. The rector, by an 
arrangement with the town council, had a salary of fifty guineas 
in lieu of the rents, casualties, &c., arising from the prfBceptory 
of Maisondieu and the rectory. The burgh schoolmaster had 
£30 from the town. The parochial schoolmaster again was 
allowed £34 by the heritors, and £10 by the town, raising his 
salary to £44, which has since, very properly, been increased to 
the maximum salary of £70 from the heritors, besides the £10 
from the town council. The fees as then fixed were very 
moderate. In the rector s department, the quarterly payments 
were — French, 3s. ; Latin, 4s. ; Latin and French, 4s. 64 ; Greek, 
5s. ; Latin and Greek, 5s. ; geography, 28. 6d. ; French and geogra- 
phy, 4s. ; Latin and geography, 5s. ; Euclid, 5s. ; Euclid and Latin, 
5s. ; other branches, including combinations of the above, 6s. 6d. 
During winter, each pupil in the rector's class paid the master 
Is. for coal-money, but no other fees or gratuities were payable. 
In the other two schools the fees were — reading, 2s. 6d. ; writing, 
2s. 6d. ; reading and writing, 3s. 6d. ; arithmetic, with or with- 
out reading and writing, 4s. 6d.; book-keeping and practical 
mathematics, 5s. But there was another class of scholars be- 
longing to the burgh and parish school who were taught for 
even less fees. These were the partial or half-day scholars, 
those who were pupils at other schools, for whom there was 
provided this scale of fees — reading, la 6d. ; writing. Is. 6d. ; 
arithmetic, 2s.; reading and writing, 2a; practical mathematics, 
2a; reading, writing, and arithmetic, 2s. 6d. This class of 
scholars, however, was soon found not to answer, and the regu- 
lation regarding them fell early into abeyance. English gram- 
mar, recitation, and history, imposed an additional 6d per 


quarter on all classes of pupils. During winter, the half-day 
scholars paid 6d. each, and the whole-day scholars Is. each, to 
provide fuel for the burgh and parish schools. No other fees or 
gratuities of any description were payable in these departments. 

In 1833 the council bought the ground adjoining the Crofts 
formerly belonging to Mr Robertson of Bangaton. In conse- 
quence of this and of the previous purchase of the Crofts, the 
council were, in 1837, enabled to open two new streets, Panmiu*e 
Street, running west from Swan Street and Clerk Street ; and 
Southesk Street, communicating with Fanmure Street, and 
running south from Clerk Street, at the top of the Den, down 
by a beautiful sweep to the Montrose road at the Cadgerhillock. 
By means of these new streets, a road of easy ascent to the top 
of the town, long a desideratmn, was secured. The ground 
along the north side of Panmure Street, the west side of South- 
esk Street, from Panmure Street upwards, and on the east side 
of Clerk Street, was sold off by the council for building stances, 
at such a rate as fully to indemnify the community for all the 
money they had disbursed in the purchase of the property. 
Panmure Street and Southesk Street were so styled out of re- 
spect to the two principal proprietors in the parish. Scales 
Lane, which leads out of Panmiu^ Street, was so named in com- 
memoration of a person to whom the Crofts had at one time be- 
longed, and by whose surname they were distinguished in the 
title-deeds of the adjoining properties as " Scales' Acre." Mac- 
gregor Street, meant to connect Clerk Street with Southesk 
Street, and yet to be made, is to commemorate the last pro- 
prietors of the Crofts. Clerk Street obtained its name in 1829, 
when the town-clerk built the first house, greeted expressly for a 
dwelling-house in that part of the town. 

A new washing-house, fitted up with fixed tubs, and supplied 
with hot and cold water, was erected at the Inch in 1833, and 
put under such regulations as to afford ample accommodation, 
at a very moderate rate, for the inhabitants. At first, the regular 
washerwomen were in arms against this innovation, but experi- 
ence has convinced them that it adds much to their comfort and 
convenience, and now they are highly delighted with the ample 
accommodation which they enjoy for washing and drying clothes. 


The resort of customers, too, has been such that the washing- 
house, although expensive in the erection, has, from the rent 
drawn, aflForded a fair return to the town for the capital ex- 
pended. In October 1837 it was let for £23, 5s. for the year 
following ; in 1863 it brought £40. Attached to the washing- 
house are a couple of very nice bath-rooms, with hot and cold 
plunge-baths and a shower-bath in each, which may be had at a 
very cheap rate, but they are very little used by the public. 
Besides the Inch bleaching-green, which consists of about an 
acre of ground, there is a small bleaching-green at the North 
Port, well supplied with running water, and the use of which 
the inhabitants enjoy gratuitously. 

In 1833 the council gave £50 to aid in repairing the road be- 
tween Arbroath and Brechin. This road is still far from excel- 
lent, but it is passable, since improved at the expense of the 
adjoining heritors and of the burghs of Brechin and Arbroath, 
and it is good compared to what it was when our late friend 
" Davidie Walker" travelled it; but it is little used by general 
travellers since the railway was opened. 

It was in 1833 that the council first ventured to abridge any 
of their markets. Lammas Muir, as the market held in August 
is called, had, from the change in the mode of farming, dwindled 
to a petty fair ; and, on 14th August 1833, a proclamation was 
])ublished, recommending to dealers to bring forward their stock 
of sheep, horses, and black cattle (as the bovine race, whether 
white, yellow, or brown, are denominated) on the Thursday, in 
place of bringing the sheep on Wednesday, cows and oxen on 
Thursday, and horses on Friday, as formerly. The market has 
since been held on the second Thursday of August, yearly, and, 
although not a great fair, is now a respectable market. 

On 5th November of this year, 1833, the first election took 
place under the Burgh- Reform Act, which vested the election of 
the coimcil in the holders or occupiers of property of the yearly 
value of £10, and annulled the law which allowed the old coun- 
cil to elect the new. The council, when completed, stood thus : 
James Speid, provost; David Dakers and William Sharpe, 
bailies ; Thomas Ogilvy, dean of guild ; James Millar, treasurer ; 
Eobert Mackenzie, hospital master ; Messrs David Guthrie, 


James Laing, William Shiress, David Lamb, Alexander Guthrie, 
David Craig, and Alexander Mather, councillors. Provost Speid 
and Messrs Sharpe, Ogilvy, Shiress, Lamb, Craig, and Alexander 
Guthrie still survive, the last being the present provost of the 
burgh, while Mr Craig holds the position of senior bailie. 

It was on 11th September 1834 that the Eight Honourable 
Henry Lord Brougham and Vaux visited Brechin, upon which 
occa^on the greater part of the council, incorporations, and bur- 
gesses turned out in their best array to greet the Lord High 
Chancellor of England, and the freedom of the burgh was pre- 
sented to that nobleman on a platform erected in the cathedral 
church, the ancient pile being crowded with the inhabitants of 
Brechin, and the multitudes assembled from the neighbouring 
towns and neighbouring country. On the early part of the same 
day a public meeting had been held, at which it was resolved 
to establish a joint-stock company for lighting up the town 
with gas. The gas-work has since proceeded successfully, and 
the streets, shops, public buildings, and most of the private 
houses are now lighted with gas. It may therefore be said that 
the two great lights of the age were made denizens of Brechin on 
the same day I As a gentleman, whose wit was not very bril- 
liant, used to say when he murdered a bon mot, " That 's a pun." 

A Mechanics' Institution was established in Brechin on 25th 
July 1835, and, under the patronage which Lord Panmure ex- 
tended to it, by erecting a hall and library for the accommoda- 
tion of the members, and giving and leaving endowments for it, 
surely it will flourish. 

The proposal for a railway between Brechin and Montrose was 
revived in 1835, but, after a plan and report, it was again found 
that the concern would not pay. The town council voted £50 
for the plans obtained, and it is but proper to say that the en- 
gineers employed, Messrs Grainger and Miller, did every justice 
to the measure. The accommodation since afforded between the 
two towns by the Aberdeen Railway Company is not of the best ; 
but we suspect the community of Brechin must just put up with 
this railway, tortuous as it is. 

In 1836-37, an infant school was erected on a piece of ground 
lying between the Path Wynd and the Cadger Wynd, now called 


Bridge Street and Union Street, a very suitable situation for 
such an establishment. The house, grounds, and premises are 
commodious, and the directors having been fortunate in their 
selection of teachers, may safely congratulate themselves on doing 
much for the moral and religious habits of the rising generation, 
and for the promotion of a taste for cleanliness and order amongst 
the poorer ranks, still a great desideratum in Scotland. The 
funds of the institution are not adequate to the demands upon it, 
but hitherto the school has been supported by annual subscrip- 
tions from the wealthier classes in the burgh and surrounding 
country, liberal to a wish in most cases, although it is much to 
be wished that a permanent endowment could be got for the 

In 1836, the Lower Wynd, or Church Street, was levelled and 
macadamised, and the High Street, from the Bishop's Close to 
the South Port, was improved in the same manner, a very consi- 
derable hollow being filled up opx)08ite the Mill Stairs, which 
reduced the sudden steepness of the street by many feet. But 
Brechin is built on a hill, and notwithstanding all the improve- 
ments on the streets — and they have been many of late years — ^it 
is, and must be always, a heavy pull from the lower to the higher 
part of the town. 

A long contemplated sale of a piece of ground at the Trinity 
Muir market-stance, and skirting the toll road, was carried into 
effect in 1836. The purchasers have since named the place 
Trinity Village, and built several neat houses there. The 
council had previously cut the wood growing on an isolated 
portion of muir at Little Brechin, and they disposed of the 
ground, by public roup, on the day of the sale of the lots at 
Trinity Village. Both sales brought good prices, and left the 
council and community no room to regret that they had made a 
number of new lairds and voters in the county. 

The jail had been constantly receiving improvements In 
1836-37 it was thoroughly repaired, cleaned and altered, having 
then, in our opinion, received as many improvements as its situa- 
tion rendered it susceptible of, but remaining a very secondary 
jail, which is now converted into a very secondary police office. 
The town-hall, too, was repainted, lighted up with gas, and other- 


wise improved this season. In short, improvement, in its march, 
had reached Brechin, and its inhabitants progressed with the 
tide and the times. 

In 1837, a bill was brought into Parliament to enable the 
sheriffs to hold courts in each town in their shires for the dis- 
posal of small-debt cases. The bill proposed to give only four 
courts yearly to Brechin ; but, on the application of the council, 
backed by their indefatigable representative, Mr Chalmers, six 
courts were appointed to be held annually at Brechin. On Tues- 
day, 16th January 1838, the sheriff opened his first small-debt 
court in Brechin, when, out of the nine parishes attached to the 
Brechin district, only four cases were brought before the judge. 
Since then the importance of the court has been fully recognised 
by the coimtry, and now the cases which are disposed of bi- 
monthly are pretty numerous. 

The official intimation of the demise of William IV. reached 
Brechin about two o'clock of 24th June 1837 ; the town council 
were immediately assembled; and, in two hours afterwards, 
Victoria was proclaimed Queen of Great Britain and Ireland at 
the Market Cross of Brechin. 

In the course of making some excavation at the East Mill 
brae, in 1837, several graves containing beads of a round black 
substance were discovered. The bodies were found interred after 
the manner of the ancient Britons, doubled up in kistaveens or 
cists, composed of undressed stones placed upright on their edges, 
and covered with thin slabs. The spot where the bodies were 
found had a southern exposure, and lay close upon the banks of the 
Esk, within a mile of the Cross of Brechin, at the place called 
the Middle Den of Leuchland. Similar cists have since been 
found in different places in and around Brechin, all having a 
similar exposure. 

An act was obtained on 3d July 1837 for improving the har- 
bour of Montrose, in virtue of which the town council of Brechin 
was authorised to appoint four trustees to attend, jointly with 
others named by the county and the burgh of Montrose, to the 
interests of that port Under this authority the town council 
of Brechin, on 7th August 1837, named Messrs David Guthrie, 
David Lamb, James Hood, and Thomas Ogilvy, merchants in 


Brechin, as trustees frciii Brechin ; and since then an annual 
election of Montrose harbour trustees has always been made. 

The town council, shortly after the passing of the Municipal 
Eeform Act, agreed to meet statedly on the first Monday of each 
month ; but this having been found a rather inconvenient day, 
it was agreed, on 1st January 1838, that in future the council 
should meet on the second Monday of each month at six o'clock 
evening. Besides these stated meetings, the town council meet, 
on other occasions, when business requires them, upon getting 
twenty-four hours' notice. 

The High Street, from the Prentice-Neuk to the Lower West 
Wynd (Church Street), was levelled and macadamised during 
the spring of this year, and the Timber Market (Market Street) 
was similarly improved during the summer; so that the only 
street which remained within the burgh, paved with **whin 
bullets," was the Path Wynd (Bridge Street), and it was soon 
after subjected to the same process which the other streets had 
undergone; so that pitched or causewayed streets are now 
wholly unknown in Brechin, and there is no room at this time 
for the ancient boast of being able to keep the crown of the 

But the great event connected with Brechin during the year 
1838, was the rebuilding of the public schools. The want of a 
proper lecture-room and library for the Mechanics' Institution, 
and the demand for accommodation for the increasing number 
of pupils at the grammar school, parish school, and burgh 
school, had struck Lord Panmure, and his lordship most nobly 
proposed to erect at his own expense, on the site of the old schools, 
a handsome new building of two storeys, surmounted by a tower, 
and containing apartments to accommodate all these institations. 
After no little consultation as to the plan of the building, and 
the individuals in whom the property ought to be vested, every- 
thing was finally arranged in the month of February 1838. The 
constitution is most liberal. The property is feudally vested in the 
town council of Brechin, to be held by them as trustees, under the 
direction of four managers, one to be named triennially by each 
of the patrons of the parish school, the patrons of the burgh 
school, the patrons of the grammar school, and the patrons of 


the Mechanics' Institution. These patrons are again respectively 
declared to be, of the grammar-school, the magistrates and town 
council of Brechin ; of the parish school, the heritors holding 
land rated at £100 Scots of valued rent, the minister of the 
parish, and the magistrates of Brechm ; of the burgh school, the 
town council of Brechin ; and of the Mechanics' Institution, the 
life members, the provost and two bailies of Brechin, the dean 
and treasurer of the guildry incorporation, the deacon convener 
of the incorporated trades, the heritors who are patrons of the 
parish school, and the preses, treasurer, and secretary of the 
Mechanics' Institution. It will be observed that Lord Panmure 
reserved no control over the erection ; nay, when it was urged 
upon him, he positively refused to have a voice more than any 
other heritor. The coronation of Queen Victoria having been 
fixed for the 28th June 1838, it was resolved to make that day 
a gala day in Brechin, and then to lay the foundation stone of 
the public schools. This proposal, in parliamentary phrase, was 
carried nemine contradicente. Every one set himseU to work 
more anxiously than another to make a day of it A Fantoccini 
theatre, and having Marionettes or wooden figures, then in the 
Mason Lodge, was laid open at the expense of Lord Panmure, 
from nine o'clock morning to six o'clock afternoon, for the 
amusement of all the children attending all the schools, public 
and private, within the burgk The amusement which was then 
seen in Brechin for the first time, was under the management of 
a Mr Stephen, whose sons still travel the country in the same 
line ; but the theatre is better known by the name of *' Shuffle 
Katie," firom a popular dancing figure belonging to it. The 
Marionette figures gave great delight to the Brechin children 
on this happy day. Lord Panmure entertained all the trades- 
men connected with the building of the schools, in Bruce's 
Crown Hotel. The incorporated trades had a dinner at their 
own cost in Walker's Cross Guns' Tavern. A subscription 
dinner took place in M'Bain's Swan Inn. Several other similar 
convivial parties met in different parts of the town. Each bur- 
gess was furnished, from the burgh funds, with a ticket of the 
value of Is. 6d. The guildry made a like provision for their 

members. The widows and orphans of the different incorpora- 



tions had a similar gift, while private charity provided a some- 
thing for most of the poor who had no corporate claims. Lord 
Panmure and Mr Cruikshank of Stracathro were at the expense 
of a grand display of fireworks for the amusement of the public 
after nightfall. And, finally, a subscription ball took place in 
the Town Hall, and was kept up with great harmony to an early 
' hour next morning. The procession, however, was the main 
point of the day. At eleven o'clock forenoon, exactly, the pro- 
cession marched off in this order: — Three constables; Odd 
Fellows' Society ; Messrs Hebenton, Wilson, and Laing, private 
teachers, with their pupils, four abreast; three constables; 
trades-officer; six incorporated trades, three abreast; Brechin 
band of music ; three constables ; town-officers ; pupils of the 
public schools, four abreast ; town council, clergy, masters of 
public schools, and directors of Mechanics' Institution, four and 
four ; St James's Lodge of Masons ; Stephens's band of music ; 
guildry incorporation, burgesses, and handicraftsmen, all three 
abreast. The procession thus marshalled, proceeded from the 
Town Hall down the High Street, but scarce had they started 
when flashes of lightning were succeeded by violent peals of 
thunder and torrents of rain. Still, " On " was the word, and 
although some anxious mothers took away their children, the 
great majority proceeded, along with the other members of 
the procession, down the Cadger Wynd, (Union Street,) up 
Southesk Street, and through Panmiu-e Street, arches of 
flowers being raised over these new streets in honour of their 
being thus publicly opened ; up Clerk Street went the pro- 
cession, round the Distillery Lane, down the Timber Market, 
(Market Street,) round by Upper West Wynd, (St David 
Street,) and St Mary Street, to the schools. The rain, though 
violent, did not continue any length of time, and when the mul- 
titude reached the new building the day was fine. The bands 
of music, pupils of the public schools, town council, clergy, 
teachers of the public schools, directors of Mechanics' Institution 
and St James's Lodge of masons, entered the square of the schools, 
where they were joined by Lady Panmure and a party from. 
Brechin Castle. The masonic ceremony of laying the founda- 
tion stone was then gone through in capital style, the late Mr 


James Laing, surgeon, acting as master of St James's Lodge, 
and the Bev. Bobert Inglis, then of Loohlee, now of the Free 
Church in Edzell, officiating as chaplain. In a stone in the 
middle set of the base course of. the front of the building, and 
between the north-west abutment and north-west octagon turret 
of the tower, the stone being that adjoining the turret, was de- 
posited a glass vase, containing the coins of the realm, an Angus 
Register^ tiie newspapers of the day, a copy of the tables on 
weights and measures published by Mr William Shiress, writer 
in Brechin, a printed copy of the contract of the gas company, a 
list of the special constables of the burgh, the regulations and 
fees of the public schools, and a variety of other local publica- 
tions, including a programme of the procession. The vase also 
contained the following inscription : — 

This Building was Brected 

For the accommodation of the Teachers of the Youth of 

Brechin, and their Pupils, 

By the Noble Munificence of 

The Right Honourable 


Baron Panmure of Brechin and Navar. 


John Henderson, Architect : 
Robert Millar, Mason : 
Robert Memos, Carpenter : 
Robert Welsh, Plasterer: 
David Shireas, Slater : 
John Wilson, Plumber. 

The vase likewise contained another inscription, written in 
Latin, of which the following is a copy : — 


Panmurij ^Baronis, Brechinensis et Navarensis, 

Liberalitate Munificentiaaima, 

Hoc .£dificium, 

In Usnm Joventntis Brechinensis, Qui Literanim 

Studgs Dent Operam, Necnon et Pneceptorum, 

Conditum Est, 

Joanne Henderson, Architecto : 
Roberto Millar. Fabro Murario : 


Roberto Memes, Fabro Lignario : 
Roberto Welsh, Csementario : 
Dayide Shireas, Scandulario : 
Joanne Wilson, Plombario. 

The masonic ceremony was very imposing, and when the sweet 
infant voices of the pupils, aided by the deeper tones of some 
professional gentlemen, raised the Queen's Anthem, while the 
thunder rolled over the heads of the assembled multitude, the 
effect was really sublime. Many was the deep-drawn sigh which 
we heard, and not a few faces were bedewed with tears ; the best 
feelings of the heart were awakened and thus found utterance. 
The ceremony being completed, three cheers were given in 
grateful acknowledgment of the obligation which the inhabit- 
ants of Brechin lay under to Lord Panmure for erecting the 
new seminaries. The procession afterwards moved by the Lower 
Wynd (Church Street) to the High Street, where the Queen's 
Anthem, and other pieces of music, vocal and instrumental, 
were performed in honour of her Majesty Queen Victoria, and 
the whole assemblage then broke up, after giving three hearty 
huzzas for the then youtliful queen. 

Thus, from sunrise to sunrise, Thursday 28th June 1838, was 
one continued round of amusement to the old and the young, 
the rich and the poor of Brechin ; and we are truly happy to re- 
cord that all these festivities went off without the slightest acci- 
dent, and, as we believe, to the satisfaction of every person. 
This description may be tedious to the general reader, but we 
flatter ourselves that the account of this affair may be agreeable 
to many a gray head which joined in the procession when a 

With the accoimt of the proceedings on this auspicious day 
we closed the continuous history of the important burgh of Bre- 
chin in our first edition. 



Wb continue our brief chronicle from the day on which we 
originally closed our little work down to the time when we 
ceased to hold the position of clerk of the ancient city of 
Brechin, leaving it for a future town-clerk to revise more par^ 
ticularly the events of this century, and to continue the work to 
such date as he may find convenient — ^if , indeed, it shall ever 
be thought worth while to do so. 

Church matters occupied much of the public attention during 
1838. The heritors of the parish and the managers of the 
East Church had a litigation about the collections at the doors 
of that kirk, the heritors claiming, and ultimately obtaining, the 
right to a half as belonging to the poor's funds. The first 
charge of the parish church being vacant, the crown, to the 
disappointment of some Brechin expectants, presented a Mr 
Nerval to the charge. The gentleman certainly was an eloquent 
preacher, and delivered, for his trial discourses, three very, 
excellent sermons, and hence was generally popular. But it 
was discovered that the presentee's sermons were all from the 
printed discourses of the Bev. Henry Melville, an English 
divine; proceedings against Mr Nerval in the Church courts 
were the consequence ; and Mr Nerval, having been found 
wrong, left the Kirk of Scotland altogether and joined the 
English Episcopal Church. The Bev. James M'Ccsh was then 
appointed to the charge, and this gentleman, now a doctor of 
divinity, at present fills the office of Professor of Logic in the 
College of Belfast, and is the author of many learned theological 
works. These disputes in the Churches were the cause of much 


acrimony in Brechin ; and, indeed, Church aifairs were at this 
period the cause of much contention throughout Scotland, which 
culminated in the disruption of 1843, and the establishment of 
that body of Christians which rejoices in the name of the Free 
Church of Scotland. A severe hurricane occurred on 11th 
October 1838, which did a great deal of damage in town and 
country ; and, as the stormy Thursday, was contrasted by the 
old inhabitants with the windy Wednesday of some sixty years 
previously. Amongst other damage done, the top of the spire 
of the East Church, with its vane, was blown down. A similar 
accident from a similar cause, but not to so great an extent, 
occurred to the same steeple during a storm of wind in October 

In February 1839 very important regulations were framed by 
the council authorising the introduction of the water from the 
public fountains into private dwelling-houses and working 
establishments, and appointing a master of the water works. 
The privilege thus given was largely taken advantage of, and 
the rates of charge then fixed still remain the rule of payment. 
Improvements on the streets were still carried on with energy at 
this time. A July fair was, at the instigation of the fanners 
and cattle-dealers, established in the Trinity Muir for nolt, 
horses, and sheep, and was opened in 1840 with games and 
rejoicings, but never seemed to take the public, and, after linger- 
ing on for some years, was extinguished by a small fair opened in 
EdzeU which, too, barely exists. The celebrated Dr Chalmers, 
having visited Brechin in the June of this year, was entertained 
to a pubUo dinner, at which clergy of various church politics 
assisted ; and the council, on the motion of a gentleman, now 
a keen Voluntary, resolved unanimously to walk ''in proces- 
sion to the parish church to hear the address of Dr Chalmers 
on church extension." A railway between Montrose and Bre- 
chin, and another between Brechin and Froickheim, in connexion 
with the Arbroath and Forfar Bailway, and a junction of both 
schemes, were projected and surveyed at this time, but were all 
ultimately abandoned; the prospect of the Aberdeen Bailway 
being made having thrown the other schemes into the shade. 
A horticultural society, which has since existed imder various 


fortunes, was established for the first time in Brechin in July 
1839. The new schools were opened on Monday 9th September 

The parish church was repaired internally, air stoves for 
iieating the building were introduced, and the fabric was lighted 
up with gas during this year and the two following, the expense 
being defrayed by voluntary contributions fix)m heritors and 
others interested in the church. The minister of the first charge 
having moved for a manse and glebe, considerable discussion 
arose amongst those interested, which led to the discovery that 
the manse, which itwas understood had belonged to the Exchequer, 
and was leased from them, in reality belonged to the church in 
virtue of a Crown grant ratified in Parliament in 1641. A new 
manse and a glebe for the minister of the first charge have since 
been obtained, but not till considerable sums had been spent in 
litigation. Thus each of the two ministers of the parish church 
has now a manse and also a glebe. Agitation for the abolition 
of the Corn Laws and Badical Reform was prevalent at this time, 
and in March 1839 a handbill, headed " Female Badical Asso- 
ciation," was published '* at the request of upwards of fifty 
females'' calling a public meeting of ladies *'to consider the 
propriety of forming themselves into an Association to assist 
their male brethren in forwarding the cause of universal liberty I" 
Another handbill of that period, published by the Working 
Men's Badical Beform Association, calls for '^ Universal Sufi&age, 


Annual Parliaments, Vote by Ballot, Equal Bepresentation, No 
Property Qualification.'' In aid of this ABSOciation a concert, 
combined with speeches, was held on 30th December 1839. 

The jail was finally closed, so far as the jurisdiction of the 
magistrates was concerned, and given over to the county board 
in 1840, when the jail assessment, a new tax on property, was 
imposed and levied ; but tramps and vagabond wanderers con- 
tinued to be an annoyance in town and country, which demanded 
additional police force. A melancholy accident happened in 
November of this year to Charles Hendry, weaver in St Mary 
Street and his daughter. It was supposed the girl had in- 
cautiously left the water department of the gas meter open, and 
that the gas escaping through the water when additional pres- 


sure came on after the most of the lights in the town were 
extinguished, and after the parties had gone to bed, had gradu- 
ally filled the house from the roof, till it came to the level of 
the sleepers and overpowered them. Neither Hendry nor his 
daughter having made their appearance at their usual time in 
the morning, the house was forced, when they were found lying 
insensible in their several beds. The bodies were immediately 
removed to the open air, and medical aid obtained, but the girl 
died within a couple of hours, and Hendry only existed in an 
unconscious state till next morning. The Bible from which the 
parties had been reading before they went to bed was found open 
on the table of their room. Willie Gun, a public character, a 
hawker of almanacs, last speeches, and dying words, died this 
year, and has left no successor. Willie was endowed with the 
organ of acquisitiveness, for although constantly pleading poverty, 
and displaying it in his person, he waa found to have had coats, 
vests, trousers, &c., without number, and a little hoard of cash. 
The Justice Hall in Trinity Muir, with a bam and byre erected 
thereon, and the right of pasture of the muir, when not required 
for markets, was first let to a tenant in 1840, and has always 
since brought a respectable rent to the town. The Queen was 
married on 10th February 1840, and the usual demonstrations 
of loyalty took place, graced in Brechin by a new appropriate 
anthem from the pen of a local poet and worthy man, the late 
Mr James Crabb, painter. 

The road between Arbroath and Brechin had long been in a 
bad state, but it was improved in 1841, and made a pretty good 
road, under a guarantee fund subscribed by various parties 
interested The town of Brechin subscribed for £300 under 
a sub-guarantee from various public spirited individuals to the 
amount of £253. The toUs on the road defrayed the expenses, 
and the subscribers were never called on to pay. The Aberdeen 
Railway, the roundabout railway, as it is generally called, is 
now, however, the general mode of communication between 
these two burghs. A census of the population was made up 
this year by Mr David Prain, parochial schoolmaster, imdw the 
Act 3 and 4 Victoria, c. 99, and we give a copy of the return 
made in an aj)pendix. The legal assessment for the poor was 


also first paid in February 1841, all modes of raising means by 
voluntary assessments having failed. The birth of a Prince of 
Wales gave the town council an opportunity to congratulate 
the Queen " on the auspicious event, which (on 9th November 
1841) has given to your Majesty a son, and to the kingdom a 
Prince," and loyally to pray that " when it shall please the 
Almighty Disposer of all events to call the Prince, your son, to 
the throne of his ancestors, he may prove, like your Majesty, a 
sovereign noted for virtue and ability/' The same event gave 
an opportunity for heating the Mechanics' Hall with a ball 
opened by Lady Panmure. Soon after this Lord Panmure 
invested the members of the Mechanics' Institution with the 
hall, along with the handsome donation of £1000 in money ; 
and on Wednesday, 16th February 1842, Dr Dick of Broughty- 
Ferry opened the hall as a scientific institution with a lecture 
" On the Diffusion of Knowledge, and the Means by which it 
may be Promoted," a very excellent and very appropriate lecture. 
The only other notable events of the year 1841 were the hanging 
of an excellent bell in the East Church steeple, and the estab- 
lishment of a ladies' clothing society for the benefit of the poor. 

.The year 1842 was one of dull trade, and to relieve the want 
of employment in Brechin, Lord Panmure, Sir James Carnegie 
of Kinnaird, and Mr Chalmers of Aldbar, trenched and im- 
proved large pieces of ground, at which work all who chose to 
apply were employed, and paid wages fully equal to their labours. 
The interest of money being very low at this time, the town 
council availed themselves of the favourable opportunity of 
disposing of various pieces of ground around Trinity Muir 
market stance, on which since then several neat houses have 
been erected, the place being known as Trinity Village. 

The Manirose Review newspaper, of 2d June 1843, contains 
this paragraph: "Sabbath last wiU be long remembered in 
Brechin, the doors of the old church having been locked. A 
portion of the congregation, adhering to their out-going ministers, 
remained at home, and improved the solemn occasion in private, 
others of them repaired to the Secession Churches, while the non- 
adhering portion helped to fill Bishop Moir's chapel, thus show- 
ing in plain characters the direction in which the two antagonist 


principles are working." Thus began the Free Church in 
Brechin. A building, commenced immediately after the disrup- 
tion in the Lower Wynd, now called Church Street, was opened 
for service on Sunday, 26th November, by the Eeverend A. L. 
R. Foote as the West Free Church, and in which the worthy 
gentleman still continues to officiate. The same Montrose news- 
paper in August has this paragraph — " It is a somewhat curious 
coincidence that there is at present in Brechin an equal number 
of the several learned professions, nine ministers of the gospel, 
nine lawyers, and nine professors of the healing art." An effi- 
cient fire-engine was procured for the town in July of this year, 
in addition to the old Uttle one, which, little as it is, however, 
is well calculated for use in confined places. These two still 
constitute the fire establishment in Brechin. 

Unfortunately, on Monday 29 th April 1844, the necessity for 
a fire-engine was too well proved. On that morning the manu- 
facturing premises at the end of Southesk Street, next to Mon- 
trose Street, and then belonging to Messrs Guthrie and Hood, 
manufacturers, were burned, and property to the value of £2000 
destroyed. A man of the name of James Gibson, weaver, was 
tried before the High Court of Justiciary on 22d December for 
the crime, found guilty, and condemned to fourteen years tran* 
sportation, but died in the Lunatic Asylum for prisoners, near 
London, in a year or so afterwards, having turned out to be a 
madman, as was believed by many at the time the crime was 
committed. Another fire, arising from accident, occurred in 
November, when a quantity of damaged flax, in the course of 
being dried in a drying-house near the gaswork was totally 
consumed, and the house itself destroyed. The old jail was 
bought by the council from the county board for £85, and 
finally closed in July, and the new prison in Southesk Street 
opened, and that now too is closed, but whether finally remains 
to be seen. Railways occupied much attention this year. The 
Aberdeen people originally proposed to go direct fix>m Laurence- 
kirk by Brechin to Forfar, but were induced to abandon this 
line-, and adopt the present tortuous course, from the influence 
of interested parties holding position in the county. The Mid- 
land Junction Company took up the line favourable for Brechin, 


but unfortunately were too late in going to Parliamenti and lost 
their Bill, as that railway was then held to be a competing one 
with the Aberdeen line. But some day, not distant, the line 
originally planned must be made. Exactly at half-past four 
o'clock, afternoon of Tuesday 19th October 1847, the first 
railway train left the Brechin station, and reached the Dubton 
station on a trial trip in twelve minutes. The great event of 
1844, however, was the landing of the Queen at Dundee, on 
Wednesday 11th September, when the council voted an address 
to her Majesty, which was presented to her by a deputation from 
the council, when she came ashore that morning, hanging on 
the arm of her husband. Prince Albert, who led the Princess 
Boyal, then a child, by the hand. Many of the inhabitants were 
present, and the sight was a very pretty one. The Queen was 
then en route to her Highland home. 

Little of local note occurred during 1845 ; Church matters, 
railways, and Corn Law abolition, continued to occupy the atten- 
tion of the inhabitants, who had still reason to complain of dull 
trade ; but the Com Laws being repealed in 1846, a grand de- 
monstration in honour of the event took place in June of that 
year. The principal affair in the council in 1845 was the per- 
ambulation of the muirs, a full report of which was engrossed 
in the council book in 1846. In this last-named year, the 
town council bestirred themselves to get the Church steeples, 
the choir, and the round tower repaired, and in 1847, Lord 
Morpeth, at the request of Mr Hume, M.P., procured a grant of 
money from the treasury, which, with contributions from the 
town council, heritors, and gentlemen in Brechin, was judici- 
ously applied to this work. A writer, in advocating these repairs 
in the local newspaper of the day, strongly contended for the 
repairs of the choir, where, he sajrs — 

" Orisoiu at rising day, 
Were chanted sad, in solemn lay ; 
Vesper anthems swelling high. 
Echoed through the twilight sky." 

The interior of the Bound Tower was at this time refitted with 
new platforms and ladders, the old ones having been for many 
years dangerous and useless, while externally the Tower was all 


ciirefully pointed with cement. The apex of the tower was 
taken down, and the top rebuilt. This apex was of a very 
l)eculiar shape ; the top of the tower is octagonal, but it would 
appear the sides had not been carried up correctly — not one of 
the eight sides was equal, and they varied from one inch to four 
inches in size. An exact drawing of the size of the top of the 
apex is bound up with the Montrose Review for this year in the 
Mechanics' Institution Library. We presume this apex had been 
one of " the great stones of the steeple-head '* when it was re- 
paired in 1683 ; it is now in our garden in Clerk Street. 

A keen contest took place in 1847 between Mr Hume and Mr 
David Greenhill of Fearn, when Mr Hume was again returned 
to Parliament by a large majority, very few in Brechin voting 
for Mr Greenhill. In July a fancy fair, the first in Brechin, 
was held in the hall of the Mechanics' Institution, under the 
patronage of Lady Carnegie of Southesk, when as much money 
was raised as paid ofi* the debt on the Infant School — a laudable 
purpose ; but whether fancy fairs are laudable things we say not. 
Lady Carnegie, who took a great interest in the Infant School, 
died in 1848, and her worthy husband, Sir James Carnegie, died 
in 1849. The Right Reverend David Moir, D.D., Bishop of 
Brechin, died on 21st August 1847. On the 7th October of this 
year there were great floods in all the rivers of Scotland, and 
the Southesk laid the Inch and River Street under water, and 
did considerable damage to property otherways. This was an 
unhealthy season, and the crowded state of the churchyard 
attracted much notice ; a joint stock company for a cemetery 
had been attempted, but failed, and it was not till 1857 that the 
burying-ground in Southesk Street was opened by the parochial 
board, after much battling with opposing individuals. 

The Currency Laws were much discussed in 1848 ; and the 
Brechin coimcil, like other communities, passed resolutions on the 
subject, — ^not more wise than most other resolutions of a like kind. 
Postal arrangements and school arrangements also engrossed 
attention during this and former years ; but these arrangements 
have been arranged and re-arranged often since then, and would 
yet " thole amends." Church aflfairs, too, continued to agitate 
the community, and a Sabbath Alliance Society was formed in 


the city. A new edacational institution in connexion with the 
Free Charch was opened in Bank Street in the September of this 
year, and still flourishes. The local newspaper records a fact 
perhaps worthy of remembrance, that at this time there were 
daily carried through Brechin blocks of stone, from Aldbar Quarry, 
for shipment at Arbroath on their way to Prussia, to aid in the 
completion of the celebrated cathedral of Cologne, which had been 
in the course of erection for 130 years. Louis Philippe having 
ahaconded from France, we notice that a respectable company 
of players, who were in Brechin in March, avail themselves of 
the fact, and advertise that ''a new and interesting drama," 
written expressly for their establishment, will be produced, en- 
titled, " The Kevolution in Paris in 1848." For Brechin, how- 
ever, a greater abdication occurred; the Defiance coach, the 
sprightly, dashing conveyance, with its careful drivers and civil 
guards, their red coats and white hats, and the noble four horses, 
to whom their work seemed a pleasure, all drove through Brechin 
for the last time on Monday Slst January 1 848, superseded by 
the railway. We may truly sing with Sir Mark Chase, the old 
country gentleman, ** We shall never see the like again." But 
the great affair of the year was the establishment of the Brechin 
Advertiser newspaper, its spirited proprietor, Mr David Bums, 
bookseller, having published the first number on Monday 10th 
October 1848. 

Cholera visited Brechin and the neighbouring towns in August 
1849 ; but in Brechin the victims were not numerous, while the 
general health of the burgh was good. A cheerful exercise in a 
cricket club, which still continues and flourishes, was established 
at this time, the players having got liberty from the council to 
use the Trinity Muir market stance ; various juvenile clubs are 
now also in existence. Sir Robert Peel and his lady and his 
daughter spent the evening of 12th October in the Commercial 
Hotel, and left early next morning by railway ; but as their visit 
was unknown till after they had left, of course no public notice 
was taken of the celebrated statesman. We believe the party 
were on a tour of pleasure in Scotland. An attempt was made 
this year to adopt tlie Police Act in the burgh, but was defeated, 
which compelled the council, from want of funds, to give up 


lighting the public lamps, and to adopt various other plans more 
economical than popular. This defeat or disappointment was, 
however, in a measure compensated by the successAil establish- 
ment of a wool fair in July. This market, which continues to 
be regularly held, is mainly indebted for its existence to the 
exertions of Mr David Craig, writer, one of the bailies of 

The Montrose Review of 20th September 1850 records that 
" a gentleman walked dry-shod across the river a considerable 
distance below the bridge last week; the river has for some 
weeks been lower than in 1826." Water for the use of the in- 
habitants was, as can easily be supposed, very scarce, and loud 
calls for an additional supply were made, the Cookston fountains 
being found deficient, and a law plea having arisen with the pro- 
prietor of the estate as to the town's right to search for more 
water. Application was therefore made to Lord Panmure, who, 
with his usual liberality, in September 1851 granted the town a 
tack of the Burghill fountains, which has been a great boon to 
the town, although from the increasing population there is still 
a desire for more water. 

The lease of the mills and bleachfield having expired, the 
premises were relet, in March 1851, to Messrs Oswald, Guthrie, 
and Craig, for twenty-five years, at a rent of £360. These gentle- 
men converted the spinning-mill into a paper work, and the old 
corn-mill into warehouses, and subset the bleachfield to the Inch 
Bleaching Company. A Ragged School, under the name of 
the Educational Society, was commenced in February 1851, and 
has done much good since its establishment. It was in May of 
this year that we witnessed the curious sight of the carts be- 
longing to the Kinnaird tenantry passing through Brechin loaded 
with snow, in which were placed sprigs of whin and broom in full 
blow. The winter having furnished no ice, these carts were sent 
to Glendye for snow, with which to fill the ice-house at Kinnaird 
Castle. It was a pretty sight ; and when the lads, the drivers, 
began to pelt their female friends with snowballs, it was curious 
to witness a snowbaU battle on the streets of Brechin in May. 
The necessity for the adoption of the Police Act in the bui^h 
became more and more obvious, and a public meeting was held 


in October on the subject, at which, however, the natural hos- 
tility to taxation prevailed, and a motion against the adoption of 
the Act was carried. The decennial census, taken up this year, 
we subjom in an appendix. 

On Tuesday 13th April 1852, died at Brechin Castle, aged 
eighty-one, William, Baron Panmure of Brechin and Navar, — 
the best friend Brechin ever had. His remains were interred 
in the churchyard of Brechin on Tuesday 20th April, in the 
north-west comer of the churchyard. Almost all the public 
bodies in Brechin desired to form a part of the funeral proces- 
sion, but the magistrates and town council of Brechin, with 
their officers, and the directors of the Mechanics Institution, 
were the only parties whose offer of attendance was accepted 
by the family. The funeral, notwithstanding, was a very large 
one, for besides the deceased nobleman's family and friends, and 
the tenantry on the Panmure estates, and professional men and 
tradesmen connected with the property, almost all the landed 
proprietors in the county, with the magistrates of Dundee, 
Arbroath, Montrose, and Forfar were present, making in all 
about 700 persons. The shops were shut from twelve to three 
o'clock, and the bells tolled at intervals during the day, while 
the assembled thousands of spectators showed, in their respectful 
demeanour, how highly the deceased gentleman was esteemed. 
The Honourable William Bamsay was bom (the second son of 
the Earl of Dalhousie) on 27th October 1771, and succeeded to 
the Panmure estates, on the death of his father in 1787, as heir 
under the entail executed by his maternal grand-uncle, William, 
Earl Panmure, on which occasion Mr Bamsay adopted the name 
of Maule. Mr William Bamsay Maule entered the army as a 
comet in the 11th dragoons in 1789, and afterwards raised an 
independent company which was disbanded in 1791. On 28th 
April 1796, Mr Maule was returned as member of Parliament 
for the county of Forfar, and represented that county in Parlia- 
ment, always voting on "the Liberal side, till he was called to 
the House of Peers on 9th September 1831 ; having been in the 
House of Commons from his twenty-fifth till beyond his sixtieth 
year. He was a consistent Whig, and a great intimate with 
Charles James Fox, after whom he named his eldest son, now 


Earl Dalhousie. Mr Maule, for we delight to call him by a 
name which was so long popular throughout Scotland, indeed 
we might say throughout the three kingdoms, — Mr Maule came 
to his estates when extra hospitality was the order of the day 
amongst Augus lords ; and " admirably (says the Edinburgh 
Courant) was he fitted to excel on such a stage, by his hand- 
some figure, his iron frame, his ready wit, his enjoyment of 
humour, and his boundless flow of spirits " The town council, 
in their minutes, noticed the death of Lord Panmure in very 
handsome and just terms. During Lord Panmure's life a bust 
of him was placed, by public subscription, in the hall of the 
Mechanics* Institution, and for many years preceding Lord Pan- 
mure's death his birth-day was annually celebrated in Brechin 
in great style. His remains lie in a spot in the churchyard of 
Brechin, selected by himself, amongst the community of Brechin 
he loved so well and benefited so much ; but no public monu- 
ment marks his grave. — Shame ! * On 17th September of the 
same year the Duke of Wellington died, and on the day of his 
interment the bells were tolled as a mark of respect for the 
deceased general. The Burghill water was fairly introduced 
into the town, and the city was again lighted with gas at the 
expense of the town council in the end of this year, which was 
marked by great floods in the Esk, inimdating the Inch and 
filling the houses on the side of the river. 

The Right Honourable Fox, Baron Panmure of Brechin and 
Navar, (now Earl Dalhousie.) was created an honorary burgess 
of Brechin in April 1853, and a similar compliment was paid him 
by the other Angus burghs soon after. The refreshment rooms 
in Union Street, and the reading rooms in Montrose Street and 
River Street, and the parochial lodging-house in City Road, were 
all estabhshed in 1853. 

David Guthrie, Esq., who had long been a most eflScient 
member of the town council, died in May 1854, while holding 
the office of provost, an office which he had filled for many 
years. The council recorded the death in proper terms in their 

* Since these lines were penned, a movement has commenced for a monument 
over Lord Panmure's grave, and we have no doubt a suitable one will now be 


minutes, and attended the funeral officially, every respect being 
paid to the deceased, by tolling the church bells, shutting the 
places of business, Ac., during the funeral. Mr Guthrie took a 
great interest in, and gave much aid to, the first edition of this 
little work. The same year Patrick Chalmers, Esq., of Aldbar, 
died on 23d July at Rome, where he had gone for the benefit of 
his health. Mr Chalmers took an active interest in the affairs 
of the town of Brechin, and represented the Angus burghs in 
three successive parliaments. Latterly he devoted himself en- 
tirely to literary studies, especially in archasology, and we have 
availed ourselves of his labours by using freely his " Registrum 
Episcopatus Brechinensis," two quarto volumes published by 
him, containing the charters of the burgh found in the charter 
room, and gathered from other sources. The Honourable 
Colonel Lauderdale Maule, second son of the late Lord Pan- 
mure, fell a victim to cholera at Varna on the 1st of August of 
this same year ; being in the position of adjutant-general of the 
army in the Crimea. The colonel, who was a great favourite 
in Brechin, was the primary cause of the establishment of read- 
ing-rooms for the tradesmen of the town. A Russian gun in 
Brechin Cemetery, mounted on a block of freestone, is ii^scribed 
with a suitable legend recording the death of Colonel Mt^ule, 
and of the other soldiers from Brechin who fell in Turkey during 
the Crimean war. Colonel Maule was member of Parliament 
for the county when he died. The Patriotic Fund established 
for the benefit of the widows and children of parties who had 
fallen in the Crimea was largely contributed to in Brechin at 
this time. In 1854 the Old Flesh Market was converted into a 
place for the sale of butter, e^s, &o. ; and Mr James Smith, 
clothier, introduced into his works a sewing machine, the first 
used in the tailor trade in Brechin. Another attempt to intro- 
duce the Police Act failed. 

On Friday 26th January 1855, the Right Reverend David 
Low, bishop of Argyle and the Isles, died at the priory of 
Pittenweem, of which he was the clergyman. Bishop Low was 
a native of Brechin, where he was bom in November 1768, and 
was educated at the schools of Brechin. He inherited from his 
father some houses in the town, and the ground occupied by 


Messrs Dickson & TurnbiiU as the City Nursery. The bishop 
was a man of considerable literary abilities, and had a great 
store of tales connected with the royal family of Stuart. Never 
having been married, he lefl the bulk of his property to the 
Episcopal Church in Scotland. The feuing of the Caldhame 
lands adjoining the railway, where there is now a Utile town, was 
begun in 1855 by Lord Dalhousie, then Lord Panmure. Baths 
at the washing-house on the Inch were opened in the beginning 
of the year. Curling, which had been in abeyance for many 
years, was recommenced in Brechin this winter, and still con- 
tinues a favourite game. A thunderstorm of unusual severity 
passed over Brechin in June of 1855, but without doing any 
damage. The annual holiday on the last Friday of July was 
established this year, and about the same time the masons gained 
the liberty of ceasing work each Saturday afternoon at two 
o'clock, wJiile the writers cut an hour off each night's labour, by 
agreeing to close their offices at seven o'clock, in place of eight, 
as formerly ; and they, too, have since adopted the Saturday half- 

The court-room was enlarged to its present dimensions by 
taking in a shop which previously fronted the street, and other 
alterations were made on the Town Hall buildings in 1856. 
The question of sending a ruling elder to the General Assembly 
of the Kirk of Scotland was again mooted in council this year, 
but rejected by the casting vote of the provost. The Parochial 
Board having acquired ground on the Caldhame lands for a 
cemetery, obtained from the council liberty to erect the existing 
bridge, to give access to the burial ground. The East Free 
Church was built in 1856, and the large sum of £743 was raised 
by a fancy bazaar to aid the building. 

The mode of assessment for the poor had been the invidious 
one of means and substance ; but in 1857, after much keen dis- 
cussion, the mode was changed to rental, modified according to 
the nature of the subjects leased. The Tenements Schools were 
erected and chiefly endowed this year by John Smith, Esq., of 
Andover, Massachusetts, America, a native of Brechin, who 
has since made several most handsome additional grants to the 
Institution. The Police Act was at last adopted on 23d Sept 


1857 ; without this law it would have been impossible longer to 
manage the burgh. The water from Burghill fountains was in- 
creased by the laying of new and larger pipes thU season. On 
14th October 1857, died Alexander Laing, a local poet of con- 
siderable eminence, and a worthy man. The new cemetery in 
Caldhame lan^s, after no little litigation, was licensed by the 
sheriff as a burying-ground, and on Monday 26th October 1857 
the corpse of William Gray, gardener at Brechin Castle, was 
interred therein. The consecration of the cemetery, at the 
request of the Episcopal part of the community, caused a 
great deal of contention, but the majority of all creeds being in 
favour of the ceremony, which, if it pleased the Episcopalians, 
they justly deemed could do them no harm, the Bight Bev^rend 
Alexander Penrose Forbes, LL.D., bishop of Brechin, assisted 
by the clergy of his diocese, consecrated a portion of the grounds, 
on 12th November 1857, in presence of an inmiense assemblage, 
who all behaved with becoming respect The bankruptcy of the 
Western Bank created a great sensation in Brechin, as elsewhere 
over the country, in November of this year, but, as usual with 
Scotch banks, the creditors lost nothing from the misfortune. 

Many events, no doubt important to the parties concerned, 
occurred in Brechin during 1858, but we only record the death 
of a townsman, an eminent literary man, Dr John Smyth Memes, 
who died in May of this year at Hamilton, of which parish he 
was one of the ministers. Dr Memes was an excellent linguist, 
a good painter, and a beautiflil swimmer, as we can vouch. He 
is perhaps best known by his first book, " The Life of Canova, 
the Italian Sculptor ; " but he wrote, translated, and edited several 
other works. 

In 1859 occurred the centenary of the birthday of Bobert 
Bums, and on 25th January the festival of the poet was duly 
celebrated in Brechin, as in most towns in Scotland, and, indeed, 
in every quarter of the world where Scotsmen were to be found. 
In May, the foundation-stone of the Tenements Schools was laid 
in grand style. In June a rifle corps was commenced in Brechin. 
The United Presbyterian Church in City Boad being rebuilt, 
was opened for worship in September. And in November the 
Rev. George Alexander, A.M., rector of the Grammar School, 


having completed his fiftieth year as a teacher in the city, a 
festival was held by his old pupils and friends on the occasion. 

The Den Nursery was let in February 1860 to Mr George 
Henderson, on a lease of twenty-one years, after Martinmas 1862, 
at a rent of £70. In April the streets were renamed by the 
police commissioners, and the old and new nam^s engrossed in 
the council book, and the extent of each street defined. In 
June of this year died General Sir David Leighton, K.C.B., a 
Brechin man, who by great courage and perseverance raised him- 
self to the highest eminence in the Indian army. We may be 
permitted to add, that on 30th Nov. 1860 died Mr Alexander 
Strachan, writer and depute town-clerk, a man universally 
beloved. The census taken up this season we give in an 

The Ladies Coal Fund, for supplying poor families with coals 
was established in 1861, and an excellent charity it has proved. 
No less than £550 was raised from a bazaar held in June, to 
defray the expenses of our gallant defenders — the Brechin Rifle 
Corps. The Marches of the Trinity Muir lands were perambu- 
lated by the council in September 1861, and the result recorded 
in a long report engrossed in the council minute-book in 1862. 
His Royal Highness, Albert, Prince Consort, having died on 14th 
December, a loyal and dutiful address of condolence was sent by 
the council to the Queen — the unexpected visitation being one 
which excited general sympathy. 

In 1862 the Brechin Bowling Club was established, and still 
flemishes, but cricket seems to be more the favourite of the 
juvenile classes. The Duke of Cambridge passed through 
Brechin in August, on a visit to the Earl of Dalhousie, and the 
jolly, worthy gentleman was welcomed with hearty good- will by 
the citizens ; very different from the reception given to his royal 
predecessor of Cumberland in 1746. On 11th November the pri- 
son, which had been erected at considerable expense in Southesk 
Street, was closed by the County Board. 

The marriage of the Prince of Wales, on 10th March 1863 
was the occasion of great rejoicings in Brechin. A petition from 
several ladies who patronised the washing-house on the Inch, 
complaining of the access by the mill stairs, led to the great 


improvement which has been made on that pathway. The 
parish church was repaired outside and inside this year, and not 
before renovation was needed. Swan Street was also widened 
and greatly improved by the erection of new buildings in it, 
begun at this time. 

Our brief chronicle has brought us to our concluding year 
1864, during which handsome power-looms were begun to be 
erected in Southesk Street, by Messrs Lamb and Scott, and 
Messrs D. A R. Duke, which will change altogether the mode 
of manufacture in linen in Brechin. On 24th August, Mr James 
Loudon Grordon was elected town-clerk of Brechin, when we finally 
ceased to be an official character — ^and so ends our little history. 




The cathedral is supposed to have been originally erected by 
David I. in the twelfth century, and to have been then dedicated 
to the Holy Trinity, but there is no distinct account of the date of 
the erection of the cathedral or adjoining steeple and tower ; the 
only document we have seen beai-ing on the subject being that 
already mentioned, (p. 24,) by which it is proved that between 1354 
and 1384 the belfry of Brechin was built. In the dike at present 
surrounding the churchyard, and immediately above the western 
iron gate, there is a stone said to have been in the wall above the 
porch door, which was in the north aisle of the old cathedral about 
the centre, and this stone bears a crosier proper above a shield 
carrying in the first and fourth compartments three bears' heads, 
or, as others read them, three leopards' faces or panthers' faces, and 
a lion rampant in the second and third compartments. These, 
most likely, are the arms of the bishop who built the porch door; 
for, it is well known, cathedral churches were never all built at 
once, but at different times, as the different bishops had taste for 
building or means at their disposal We have not been able to 
ascertain positively to whom these armorial bearings belong, 
although we believe they are those of George Sherwood, who 
was bishop of Brechin in 1455-61. The cathedral, as used by 
the Presbyterian congregation, was a handsome Gothic buildings 
consisting, till 1806, of a nave with two side aisles, and a tran- 
sept formed by the extension of these aisles at the east end. In 
the north transept there was a small door on the west side on a 
level with the ground, and used, along with the porch door and 


west door, at the " scailin' of the kirk," the dismissal of the con- 
gregation—the assembling of the congregation being mainly by 
the porch door, and occasionally by the west door. About the 
centre of the south aisle was another small door with an arched 
head. This door, in 1806, was considerably below the level of 
the churchyard, to which there were steps up from the inside of 
the church. The door spoken of was only occasionally used by 
the church officials at the time we knew it. We give a ground 
plan of the cathedral made from measurements, and revised by 
parties who were well acquainted with the church before the 
alterations in 1806. So far as we can learn, the cathedral was 
never finally completed. The great western door, at which 
extremity, generally, cathedrals were commenced, seems to have 
been fully finished, and the nave appears to have been also com- 
pleted, but there was no appearance that there had ever been any 
pillars or arches in the transepts, which are now wholly swept 
away, and which, as already said, seem to have been merely ex- 
tensions of the side aisles. Notwithstanding of the beautiful 
ruins of the chancel, of which we give a woodcut, we question 
if the high altar had ever been properly finished, and if there 
had been anything more than a *' Lady Chapel," of which the 
foundations are occasionally met with to the east of the ruins 
alluded to. In 1806, the north and south transepts were re- 
moved, new aisles were built on each side of the nave, and one 
immense, abominably ugly, roof made to cover the whole, thus 
totally eclipsing the four beautiful windows in the nave, and 
covering up the handsome carved cornice of the nail head 
quatre-foil description, which ran under the eaves of the nave. 
This building, as modernised, is used for the parish church. It 
is supported by 12 pillars, measures 84 feet in length, 30 feet in 
breadth, or 58 feet including the aisles, each of which measures 
14 feet. The western door, of which we give a woodcut, has 
been beautifully carved, and the large Gothic window above it 
is still much admired for the elegance of its muUions and tracery. 
It is described by architects as slightly flamboyant, and is sup- 
posed to be of an age much later than the square steeple adjoin- 
ing. Part of the side walls of the choir and chancel, measuring 
on the north wall 23 feet, and on the south wall 26 feet, in 


length, 24 feet in height, and 23 feet in width, are still stand- 
ing, the windows of which, as seen in the woodcut, are tall and 
narrow, graced with chaste small columns supporting beautiful 
lancet-shaped arches. At the north angle of the nave, and close 
on the west door, is the steeple, a noble-looking square tower, 
70 feet high, supported by buttresses on the west side, mea- 
suring 25 feet 2 inches on each side, and having handsome 
belfry windows, adorned with that species of opening called the 
quatrefoil. The walls are 5 feet thick at the base, and in the 
bell-house, which is immediately above tlie session-house, they 
are the same. The top of the steeple is battlemented and sur- 
rounded with a bartizan, out of which rises an elegant octagon 
spire 58 feet high. The ascent to the bartizan is by a spiral 
stair of 111 steps, contained in a handsome octagonal tower, 
at the north-east corner of the steeple, as may be seen in a 
view which we give of the church from the north. From the 
bartizan there is a beautiful prospect of the surrounding country, 
bounded on the west and north by the Grampian Mountains, on 
the south by Burkle Hill, and on the east, extending as far as 
the eye can see, into the German Ocean, over Montrose. A 
very beautiful moulding of floral ornaments runs round the pro- 
jecting base of the west side of the bartizan ; and on the top of 
one of the battlements on the east side of the bartizan, being 
that to the north of the clock-face, is carved an antique head, 
while on the corresponding battlement on the south side of the 
clock-face is the date 1642 in alto relievo letters. We find from 
the accompts of John Liddell, kirk treasurer in 1642 and 1643, 
that various repairs had been made on the church in these years, 
and we presume this date refers to them. The accompts are 
very minute, from 2s. 8d. given to Alexander Talbert for " lad- 
dering the church;" 38. 4d. to ** James Stirling for carrying in 
the bum;'* Is. 4d. "given for mending the lyme ridll;" to 
" Sept. 1643 given out in general for expenses disbursed upon 
the glass windows, £145, 28. 2d." At this time there appears 
to have been a clock belonging to the church, which, if it 
had then stood where the clock removed in 1806 stood, would 
have been immediately above the east window of the square 
tower, the works being placed on a flooring opposite inside 






•■0 2-1 

Th^ f hath if (HI r In itn\y. noiv r^'main. IS'JT 

l\igf 230 


the steeple. This clock, like those of modern days, seems to 
have required much attention, for Mr Liddell has various entries 
in his accounts regarding the knock; as, for example, in No- 
vember 1642 there are 48. ** given Hendrie Valentine for making 
changiea to the knock," and in January 1643 Mr Valentine 
has 2s. 8d. *' for mending some things the knock had need 
of." llotwithstanding the age of these buildings, not a decayed 
stone can be seen in the cathedral, steeple, or spire. The base 
of the steeple, which is now occupied as the session-house, has 
a handsome groined roof, springing from four corbels, three of 
them ornamented with a leaf beautifully cut in high relief, and 
the fourth with a dog picking a bone, which may lead some 
antiquary to the exact date of the building, as the dog possibly 
has some allusion to the name of the builder. The arch or groin 
terminates in an open circle of about four feet in diameter, and 
about seventeen feet from the floor. • The session-house measures 
15 feet 3 inches on each side. In the east wall of the steeple, 
and about the middle of the second floor above the session-house, 
is a square opening like a door, but with teeth or stones project- 
ing from each side, so as to be easily filled up to accord with the 
original building. This door leads by a zigzag course through 
the centre of the wall into the roof of the church, the exit from 
the door being on a level with the side walls of the nave. For 
what purpose this opening had been left, can only now be matter 
of conjecture. Possibly it might have been intended for a 
person, stationed in it, to conununicate with the bell-ringers 
how to toll the bells at different parts of the ceremonials of the 
Bomish Church. This seems the more likely, as within this 
passage through the wall there is in a recess a stone seat and a 
small window commanding the exterior view of the north side 
of the church. At present no person can see from this passage 
into the body of the church, in consequence of the flat plastered 
roof of the church ; but when the original Gothic roof of the 
cathedral existed, similar to that of the Parliament House of 
Edinburgh, or Westminster Hall of London, there was no difli- 
culty in seeing, from this point, what occurred in the cathedral. 
In the spire of the steeple are now placed two bells which were 
formerly in the round tower, and in the steeple, itself, is hung a 


large bell. A clock, placed on the bartizan when the church 
was repaired in 1806, strikes the quarters on the small bells, 
and the full hour on the large bell. Of course, these bells are 
all used for giving notice of divine service on Sundays, and the 
large bell is rung on the evenings of each of the six working 
days during the week, at eight o'clock, and is also tolled or 
joioed, that is, made to strike solemnly on one side, consecutively, 
each Saturday night at ten o'clock ; and it is rung each work- 
day morning, dm-ing the summer, at six o'clock, and during 
the winter at seven o'clock. It is a deep full-toned bell, and the 
tolling, or ringing on one side, on the Saturday nights, has a 
peculiarly solemn effect. A musical friend informs us that the 
first or gi-eat bell sounds A exactly, concert pitch ; the second, 
or one of the smallest bells, A sharp, or B flat, an octave above, 
and the third or smallest bell, C. in alt. ; and that, had the 
second bell been A exactly, the chime would have been perfect, 
A, A 8va. and C the 15th. Although not a complete chime, he 
tells us the Brechin bells may be stated as very nearly so. The 
same friend informs us that the bell of the old Episcopal chapel 
in High Street sounds E in alt, and the town-house bell a note 
or two lower, say, perhaps, C in alt. 

At the south-west angle, but entirely separated from the nave 
of the church, stands the celebrated round tower, one of those sin- 
gular buildings which have so long baffled the researches of anti- 
quaries.* The tower of Brechin is quite a distinct erection from 
any of the buildings of the church, although the south aisle now 
embraces nearly one-fourth of its circumference. From this aisle 
there is an entrance of comparatively modem date, at least evi- 

* We give a woodcut of the cathedral of Brechin from the west, carefully pre- 
pared from a photograph, in which the lower part of the round tower is exactly 
depicted. We also give an enlarged view of the doorway of the round tower, 
engraved from a photograph. Farther, we give a woodcut of a peculiarly carved 
stone, which, for the purpose of photographing, is placed against the base of the 
east side of the round tower. In aU of these woodcuts the mason work of the 
round tower is represented exactly as it exists, each stone being carefully en- 
graved as shown in the building. From these engravings, therefore, the reader 
may obtain a correct notion of the different styles of building of the tower, the 
cathedral, and the square steeple. 


dently struck out of the wall after the tower had been built, sup- 
posed to have been made for the convenience of the ringers when 
there were bells in the tower * However, when the church was 
last repaired, these bells, as already noticed, were transferred to 
the steeple. There is no stair in the tower, and the only access 
to the top is by means of six ladders. One ladder rests on the 
earthen t floor within the tower ; and the other five ladders are 
placed on wooden semicircular floors, each floor being supported 
by a circular projection or abutment, or corbel, as architects 
term it, within the tower.J These corbels form part of the wall 
of the tower, and, of course, are parts of the original structure of 
the tower. Each of the third and fourth floors is lighted by a 
small window or opening ; the fifth and sixth, by the windows 
in the top ; and the first, by the door ; but the second has no 
window or light The window in the third fioor is on the east 
side ; the window in the fourth floor on the south side. The 
height of the tower from the ground to the roof is 85 feet ; the 
inner diameter at the bottom, 8 feet ; the thickness of the wall, 
at that part, about 4 feet ; so that the whole diameter is nearly 
16 feet, and the external circumference very near 50 feet; the 
inner diameter, at top, is 6 feet 7 inches, the thickness of the 
walls 2 feet 10 inches, the circumference 38 feet 6 inches. These 
proportions give the building an inexpressible elegance.§ The 
top is roofed with an octagorujl spire, 18 feet high, which makes 
the whole height of the building 103 feet.|| Near the top of the 
tower there are four windows, facing the four cardinal points, of 
oblong shape, with flat plain stones for siUs, rybats, and lintels. 
In the octagonal roof there are also four windows, having their 
sills on the top of the tower, alternating with the windows in the 
tower. The windows in the roof are brought to a point at the 
top, by means of two stones resting on each other, like an in- 

* Now again built up. 

f Now flag-Btone floor. 

X Rather a string course, but variously termed, by different writers, bracket, 
plinth, projection, oflbet, fto. 

§ Our woodcut of the cathedral from the east, with the ruins of the chancel, 
gives a good general representation of the round tower from top to bottom. 

II These measurements, as afterwards noticed in the text, were made under 
difficulties before 1839. We give the exact dimensions in a subsequent foot note. 


verted ^, and springing from the square sides of each window. 
Near the bottom, on tlie west side, there is a handsome small 
arch or doorway, composed of four large stones, employed, one 
as a door-sill, two as rybats, and one as a curved lintel.* The 
width of the door at the sill is 1 foot \\\ inches, and at the 
spring of the arch or circle 1 foot 9 inches, the height of the 
rybats to the arch, 5 feet 9^ inches, and the height of the arch 

10 inches, making the total height 6 feet 7^ inches. Each stone 
is the depth of the wall, and presents an external face of about 

11 inches. The sides of the door and the arch stand out in relief 
from the tower, and on the top of the arch is a crucifixion, also 
in relief. Between the mouldings on the sides, and about half 
the height of the sides below the arch, are two figures, apparently 
monks, leaning on staves, and wrapped in close cloaks with hoods. 
The introduction of two monks into the crucifixion is an ana- 
chronism similar to what may be found in the paintings of some 
of the old masters. On each corner of the sill of the door, which 
also stands out in relief from the tower, is the figure of a beast, 
and in the middle between them is a lozenge, on which appa- 
rently some arms have been engraved. Probably these animals 
may have represented the supporters of the shield of the pious 
lady whose arms had been contained in the lozenge, and who 
may have been at the expense of making the door-way. But, 
except the crucifixion, the whole figures, which have been all 
sculptured in alto relievo^ are so much decayed as to leave 
considerable scope for imagination. The door-way is filled up 
in a slovenly manner withj coarse rubble work.f One side of 
the door, within the tower, presents the appearance of a staple 
having been made to go into a hasp, neatly formed in the stone- 
work, while the other side of the door shows where bands had 

* Since thia doorway was opened, in 1842, the curved lintel of the top ia found 
to be composed of two Btonea, neatly joined and jointed. We give the exact 
dimenaionB of the tower, as now ascertained, in a subsequent foot note ; but here 
we may, in addition to what is given above, state that the door-way, at the sill, 
measuring across the whole stone, is 4 feet 6 inches, and at the spring of the 
arch, or circle, 4 feet 2 inches ; and that the wooden door now put on measures to 
the soffit of the circle 5 feet 6 inches with 8} inches for the circle, — in whole, 6 
feet 2i inches. 

t Now re-opeued, as seen in our woodcuts. 


been fastened for hanging the door, which thus must have opened 
upon the interior side of the door-way. The figures, on the 
exterior of this door-way, bespeak it to be of Christian architec- 
ture ; and after repeated and minute examination, in presence 
of architects and master masons, we are satisfied that the door- 
way must have been built when the tower was erected, be that 
era when it may.* The whole tower is built of large stones, not 
one of which is yet blasted, cut to the circle, but not squared at 
top or bottom, nor laid in regular courses, but running round 
the building in sloping courses, which rise above each other 
somewhat like a screw, forming one spiral course from top to 
bottom ; although Mr Grose asserts, we think without sufficient 
examination, that it is composed of sixty regular courses of 
mason work. This mode of building seems ruder and more 
ancient than the regular coursed ashlar work of the steeple ; and 
the roof of the tower, corresponding in the style of building to the 
steeple, would lead to the belief that this tower, like most others 

* We have had the door-way again and again inspected by people of skill since 
1839, when this was published, and they have all agreed with the statement in 
our text* Mr R. W. Billings, the eminent English architect, in the first Tolume 
of his beautiful work, " The Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland," 
published in 1852, in which he gives two views and a description of the cathedral 
and round tower of Brechin, says, " Everything connected with the round tower 
but the conical roof has the appearance of being part of one original design, and 
where it is but barely possible that, with great exertion, a part of the lower range 
could have been removed for the incrustation of these Christian symbolla, at a cost 
which might have been sufficient to erect a separate tower." We omitted in our 
first edition to state, that on each side of the door-way, immediately opposite the 
crucifixion, and on the same stone with it, which forms the arch of the door-way, 
is a projecting stone of 1 foot 10| inches by six inches, left as if intended for 
figures being sculptured thereupon, but never finished. We omitted also to state 
that part of the south side of the door-way at the foot is of a red sandstone, as may 
be noticed in the enlarged view of the door-way, as if a piece had accidentally been 
broken off and renewed at a later period. This has the same ornament as sur- 
rounds the door-way, but of inferior workmanship, lliis ornament is sometimes 
called the teUet and button-shaped, but we style it a bead-like ornament. The 
smaller of the two saints, that on the right side of the doorway, measures 1 foot 4 
inches, and with the plinth 1 foot 9 inches ; the larger figure on the left measures 
1 foot 5} inches, and with the plinth on which it stands 1 foot 10^ inches. The 
breadth of each stone on which the figure is cut is 5 inches. The crucifixion again 
measures, height of figure, 1 foot 3| inches ; figure with pedestal, 1 foot 8 inches ; 
breadth of stone on which figure cut, 4 inches ; width across the arms, 1 foot S4 
inches ; width of that part of stone, 1 foot 6 inches. The stones on which the 
animali at the foot of the door are sculptured measure each 11 by 8 inches. 


of the same description, had been originally open at top, and 
had received its present roof at the time the steeple was built, 
or by architects who imitated that style of building. The hand- 
some door-way, however, rather contradicts the supposition of 
the want of skill in the original architects. Certain it is, 
that during high winds this tower has often been observed to 
vibrate ; and we, ourselves, can vouch for having witnessed this 
fact on different occasions. It is by a high wind from the south- 
east that the tower is most generally shaken. While it stands 
perpendicular on the east, it appears to be about three feet off 
the plumb on the west side, likely an original error in the archi- 
tecture, as no sit in the building can be detected, and apparently 
arising from a difference in the thickness of the walls on the 
east and west side.* We intended to have given the internal 
dimensions more particularly, but, in consequence of two of the 
ladders of the tower being altogether gone, and the others being 
in a rotten and decayed state, and the impossibility of introduc- 
ing any additional ladder through the very small entry now left 
from the church to the tower, we found it unsafe, if not im- 
practicable, to ascend to the top ; and we are, therefore, obliged 
to rely on measurements, not so particular as we could have 
wished, made some years ago when the ladders and floors of the 
Brechin tower were in a better state than they are at present, f 

* We now think this is a mistake and an optical e^e-lusion, although many of 
our friends still contend for the truth of the statement in the text. Mr BiUingi, 
however, in his " Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities/' says, " The round tower 
slightly tapers upwards, but it has a decided inclination in one direction, so that 
while the side towards the church is perpendicular the other forms an obtuse angle 
with the horizontal line." 

t This was written and published in 1839. The steeples and towers were re- 
paired mainly at the expense of Goyemment in 1847, and new ladders and flooring 
introduced into the tower by the west door, then re-opened, as mentioned at page 
219. We are therefore now enabled to give the exact dimensions of the tower. 
We adopt those made in October 1856 for Albert Way, Esq., M.A., of Wonham 
Manor, secretary to the Archseological Institute of Great Britain, by Mr William 
Ormiston of Edinburgh, and given in plate III. of vol. ill. of the '* Proceedings of 
the Society of Antiquaries in Scotland," along with remarks on the round tower of 
Brechin, then communicated to the Society by Andrew Jervise, Esq. of Brechin. 
We have verified these measurements with the aid of Mr John Baxter, builder in 
Brechin, and have found them correct, and, with Mr Baxter's assistance, we have 
made some additional measurements, which we give. Again, the total height and 
total thickness of the tower have been kindly ascertained for us by Mr Geoi^ge 


Towers of this description are said to occur frequently in 
Ireland. Mr Richard Gough, in his " Observations on the Round 
Towers of Ireland," published in 1779, tells us that " these 
round towers are spread through divers parts of Ireland ; they 
differ from each other in degrees of height, some thirty-seven 
feet, others fifty and more ; that of Kildare is 132 feet high ; 
an(t that at Kilkenny is little less. ' Their outward circuit at 
the base rarely exceeds forty-two feet ; walls three feet thick ; 
diameter within, seldom more than eight feet ; they gradually 

Henderson of the Den Nursery, Brechin, by trigonometrical survey, and have 
been found to tally with the reports of Messrs Ormiston and Baxter. The dimen- 
sions, then, are these — From level of ground outside to first corbel inside, 3 feet 
5^ inches ; from first to second corbel inside, 1 2 feet 8^ inches, the width here 7 
feet 11 inches; from second to third corbel, 12 feet of height^ width, 7 feet 9 
inches ; from third to fourth corbel, height, 18 feet 10 inches, width, 7 feet 8 
inches ; in this storey there is a window on the east side of the tower, measuring 

I foot 8 inches by 11 inches at the bottom and 10 inches at the top ; from fourth to 
fifth corbel, 10 feet 7 inches in height and 7 feet of width, in which storey there is 
a window, on the south side, of similar dimensions with the one below ; from the 
fifth to the sixth corbel meastires 18 feet 8 inches of height, width, 7 feet ; from sixth 
corbal to a shelf on the wall, 7 feet 2 inchea As the walls are considerably thinner 
here, the width inside the tower is 7 feet 8^ inches. Within this division are 
the four windows looking to the cardinal points of the compass, measuring 8 feet 
8 inches by 1 foot 9 inches each. All the windows mentioned are plain and un- 
omamented. From the head of the shelf on the wall to the top of the wall is 3 
feet 10 inches, the width being 8 feet 2 inches, as the wall is again considerably 
thinner. In the tower there are six corbels, averaging 9 inches each, giving in 
whole 4 feet 9 inches. Thus from the ground to the top of the I'ound tower the 
height is 86 feet 9 inches. The octagon top measures 15 feet 9 inches from the 
head of the wall to the inside of the roof, and the ridge of the roof is understood 
to be 3 feet thick, which gives in all for the octagon top 18 feet 9 inches. The 
stone ball on the apex of the roof measures 12^ inches. Consequently the whole 
maaon-work measures 106 feet 6| inches in height, tallying exactly with Mr Hen- 
derson's trigonometrical survey. If to this are added 3 feet 5^ inches for the iron 
rod and vane on the top of the steeple, we have a total height of 110 feet for this 
obelisk. The base course or ground plinth measures 12 inches in height, and pro- 
jects 2 inches from the wall, and from the top of this plinth to the door-sill is 5 
feet 8 inches, so that the door-sill is 6 feet 8 inches from the ground. At the base 
the walls are 8 feet 8 inches thick, and the internal diameter or width being 7 feet 

II inches; the whole diameter is 15 feet 3 inches, which gives a circumference 
of 47 feet 10} inches at the bottom. At the top again, the walls are 2 feet 5 inches 
and 2 feet 6 inches thick ; the internal circumference 8 feet I inch, making in all 
18 feet of diameter and 40 feet 10 inches of circumference. Thus the taiper, or 
entasis, or batter, as it is more familiarly termed, from bottom to top is only 7 feet 
6-8ths of an inch in whole, or 8 feet 6| inches on each wall, which gives the tower 
an inexpressible elegance. 


dimiaish from the bottom to the top, which is covered with a 
stone roof. Withinside are abutments on which to rest the 
timbers for the several floors or stages, to which they ascended by 
ladders ; every storey has a little window ; the four upper win- 
dows looking different ways ; the door for entrance from eight 
to twelve, and to fifteen feet from the ground, without steps or 

In Scotland there are but two such towers, one at Brechin, and 
another at Abernethy, in Perthshire. We made a pilgrimage 
to the Abernethy tower in 1838. Thomas Simpson, the then 
beadle of Abernethy, informed us, readily, that it was built by 
the Picts 1300 years ago, and that a gentleman had read the 
whole account of it out of a book to his daughter. Thomas 
was, otherwise, very communicative and obliging, and under his 
superintendence we made a survey of this tower. We found 
that the height was under eighty feet. The door-way, which 
is on the north side, and attained by three steps, evidently of 
modem architecture, is about seven feet in height, and three in 
width. The diameter of the tower, inside, level with the door- 
sill, is seven feet ten inches. The thickness of the wall, at the 
door-way, is three feet six inches, but as the rybat of the door 
projects two inches, the true thickness of the wall here is three 
feet four inches; consequently the external diameter of the 
building is fourteen feet six inches ; but as this door-way, from 
the fall of the ground, is six feet nine inches above the founda- 
tion on the west side, the external diameter at the base will, 
most likely, be about fifteen feet. From the base on the west 
side, to the top of the door-way, a height of about fourteen feet, 
there are twelve courses of regular masonry of a dark-coloured 
stone, not unlike the Brechin stone. Above this the courses are 
of a yellow stone like the Cullalo stone, and the sills, rybats, 
and arch of the door-way are of this yellow stone. The door- 
way is of a very rude architecture, composed externally of six 
stones, one used for the door-sill, four for the side rybats, and 
one cut into a curve or arch for the lintel. The sill and rybats 
go through the waU ; the lintel is backed by some small stones 
built in arch-ways. The top of the tower is attained by means 
of four ladders, resting upon wooden floors supported by internal 


rings or corbels, exactly similar to those of the Brechin tower. 
The first of these floors is level with the door-sill, and below 
this floor, there is a vacuity of three or four feet. By the help 
of the four ladders, the aspiring antiquarian may reach the floor 
where the bell is hung, but those who wish to attain the leads 
of the tower must apply to Thomas Simpson, or his successor, 
to keep the bell stationary, and then, by mounting upon the top of 
it, they will gain the highest floor, wliich is about three feet 
from the extreme top. This floor is covered with lead, in which 
there is a small hatchway, and the individual whose curiosity 
may induce him to mount so high, will be gratified by a beauti- 
ful view of the Tay and Earn, the Castle Law Hill above Aber- 
nethy, and the undulating grounds of Fife and Perth shires in 
the distance. Measured at this height, the internal diameter of 
the tower is found to be 6 feet 8^ inches, and the walls 2 feet 
7 inches thick; but as the top is covered with stones which 
project with a moulding of about seven inches beyond the wall, 
the real thickness of the wall, at the top, is two feet, and, con- 
sequently, the external diameter nearly 10 feet 9 inches. The 
projecting moulding, we are informed, was added about the 
middle of last century. Previous to this addition, the tower 
must have have had a very unfinished-like appearance. The 
internal stone circles, or corbels, are six in number, supporting 
as many floors ; and these projections all evidently form part 
of the original building of the tower. There is no stone 
roof, and so far this tower is defective in beauty compared with 
that of Brechin. Thomas Simpson said the Picts built it 
all in a night, and were about to put on the roof of a morn- 
ing, when an old woman, looking from her window, fright- 
ened them away, and hence the building was left unfinished. 
At the top, and immediately below the highest internal ring or 
corbel which supports the leads of the building, there are four 
windows, but these do not look to the cardinal points, and we 
should suppose they are some three or four degrees of variation 
o£f the cardinal points. Each window measures, inside, about 
six feet in height and two feet in width. They are all arched, 
and, externally, there is $i higher circle some foot or so above 
that which gives light, and small carved pilasters, of which one 



or two yet remain, have supported or ornamented the external 
arch. In this respect they differ from the windows in the 
Brechin tower. The tower of Abernethy diflfers also from the 
Brechin tower in being composed of regularly squared and 
coursed ashlar of moderate sizes. Internally, there is the dis- 
tinct appearance of the tower having been built to a circular 
mould or frame, the cement projecting beyond the stones, being 
run together to the circle, and smoothed on, not squared to, the 
joints of the stones. The cement upon the inner side of the 
circle has much the appearance of Roman cement ; at the win- 
dows the lime appears in the centre of the wall, as if poured into 
the walls in a liquid state. Externally, the stones of the tower 
are pretty entire, except on the north-west side, near the top, 
and the joints having been pointed up about 1835, the courses 
of the building in 1838 were very distinct. In the interior many 
of the stones are very much decayed and eaten into, like water- 
worn stones, the softer parts being removed, and the harder 
standing out similar to ribs or joints. The tower is one-half 
within, and one-half without, the churchyard, the dike of which 
embraces the north-east half of the tower. Upon the south side 
of the tower, without the dike of the churchyard, and opposite 
to the Cro&8 House in which the councillors make their elections 
and hold their magisterial feasts, and affixed to the wall of the 
tower, is to be found that ancient instrument of punishment, the 
"jugs," an iron collar, namely, of three pieces, attached together 
by two joints, and which, opening in front to receive the culprit's 
neck, was then secured by a padlock, while, behind, it was fas- 
tened by a chain to the building, and thus the offender remained 
in durance till it pleased the men in power, and the keeper of the 
key of the padlock, to relieve him. Our friend Thomas Simpson 
assured us that the magistrates dared not now use this instru- 
ment of punishment, and as Thomas is town-officer as well as 
beadle and sexton, and as the day of our visit was the day of the 
election of magistrates and head court of the burgh of Aber- 
nethy, we deem ourselves as having derived our information 
from the highest, most direct, and purest source ! I 

Above Abernethy, a little to the south-west, is a hill, called 
the Castle-Law Hill, upon the top of which are the remains of a 


vitrified fort, which we visited ; and amongst the names of places 
in the neighbourhood, we fincL Pittenbreigh, Pittendrioch, <tc., 
and below the hill, on the south side, we saw, if we mistake not, 
the remains of what is generally termed a Druid temple. Similar 
names of places, and similar druidical remains are to be found 
in the immediate vicinity of Brechin. The hill of Finhaven, on 
which are the remains of a vitrified fort, is at the distance of 
some five or six miles south-west from Brechin, and Catterthun 
is some four miles north-west of Brechin. We leave it, there- 
fore, to abler antiquarians to ascertain if there is any connexion 
between these circumstances and the round towers of Brechin 
and Abemethy. 

The Rev. Dr Small of Edenshead, Abemethy, who has written 
a book on Boman Antiquities, states the tradition regarding 
the tower of Abemethy to be, that it was erected as a burying- 
place for " the kings of the Picts/' and to the doctor '' it is as 
clear as a sunbeam, that the Pictish race of Kings lie all buried 
within it." In confirmation of this hypothesis, the reverend 
doctor writes, that on 10th May 1821 the interior of the tower 
was dug into, when, at about four feet from the surface, the 
sexton found, in presence of the gentlemen assembled, '^ plenty 
of human bones, and the fragments of a light green um, with a 
row of carving round the bottom of the neck," and that, digging 
still farther, they " came to three broad flags, which either served 
as the bottom of the first coffin or the cover of another, and by 
removing one which seemed the largest, found that there were 
plenty of bones below ; and thus^ after gaining our end in ascer- 
taining the original design of building it, as a cemetery for the 
Royal Family, we desisted," says the doctor. We introduced 
ourselves to Dr Small^ from whom we purchased a copy of his 
work. We are quite satisfied he is a gentleman on whose vera- 
ciiy implicit reliance may be placed; but we rather fear he 
jumps at conclusions, and is not a little credulous — and, still 
worse, we doubt his antiquarian skill Shade of Huddleston, 
how wouldst thou shudder, if shades can shudder, to leam that 
Dr Small derives Pittendreich, your burial-place of the Druids, 
from two common Scotch words — ascribing the origin of the 
term to the circumstance of the Romans having *' got a more 


dreich piece of road pitten to them," when forming their famous 
way through North Britain! T^}e doctor, in describing his re- 
searches in the tower^ adds that the sexton of Abemethy after- 
wards found " seven other human skulls all lying together, all of 
them full-grown male skulls," buried in the tower, one of which, 
the most entire, was carried away by Sir Walter Scott. Our 
friend, Thomas Simpson, the successor of the sexton alluded to 
by the doctor, hints very broadly, that situated so close to the 
kirkyard as the tower is, there would be no great difficulty in 
finding skulls in the latter, when it was once seen there was a 
demand for them. Thomas applies to this case the famous 
axiom in political economy, that the demand regulates the 

Eegarding such erections, Mr Pennant in his tour through 
Scotland has given the following observations : — ** The learned 
among the antiquaries," he remarks, " are greatly divided con- 
cerning the use of these buildings, as well as the founders. 
Some think them Pictish, probably because there is one at 
Abemethy, the ancient seat of that nation ; and others caU them 
Danish, because it was the custom of the Danes to give an alarm 
in time of danger, from high places. But the manner and 
simplicity of building, in early times, of both those nations, was 
such as to supersede that notion : besides, there are so many 
specimens left of their architecture, as tend at once to disprove 
any conjecture of that kind : the Hebrides, Caithness and Koss- 
shire, exhibit relics of their buildings totally different. They 
could not be designed as belfrys, as they are placed near the 
steeples of churches, infinitely more commodious for that end ; 
nor places of alarm, as they are often erected in situations unfit 
for that purpose. I must therefore fall into the opinion of the 
late worthy Peter CoUinson, that they were inclusoria, et arcti 
inchiaorii ergastula, the prisons of narrow enclosures ; that they 
were used for the confinement of the penitents ; some perhaps 
constrained, others voluntary, Dunchad o Braoin being said to 
have retired to such a prison, where he died, A-D. 987. The 
penitents were placed in the upper storey ; after nndei^ing their 
term of probation, they were suffered to descend to the next, (in 
all I have seen, there are inner abutments for «uch floors :) after 


that, they took a second step, till at length the time of purifica- 
tion being fulfilled, they were released and received again into 
the bosom of the Church. Mr OoUinson says that they were 
built in the tenth or eleventh century. The religious were, in 
those early times, the best architects ; and religious architecture 
the best kind. The pious builders either improved themselves 
in the art by their pilgrimages, or were foreign monks brought 
over for the purpose. Ireland being the land of sanctity, Patria 
sanctorum, the people of that country might be the original 
inventors of these towers of mortification. They abound there, 
and, in aU probability, might be brought into Scotland by some 
of those holy men who dispersed themselves to all parts of 
Christendom to reform mankind." Mr Gough, the antiquarian, 
to whom we have already alluded, offers a pretty similar solution. 
He tells us, that "about the year 1750, Mr Charles Smith, 
author of an account of the counties of Down, Waterford, Kerry, 
and Cork, who, with great industry, was searching ancient 
records for materials for these works, met with some ancient 
M8S. which clear up this long-disputed subject. From these, it 
appears that these towers were built in the 10th or 11th 
centuries, and were used for imprisoning penitents." In the 
churchyard of Drumlahan, county of Cavan, Ireland, there is 
one of these towers, on the top of which, tradition asserts, an 
anchorite lived. Mr Harris, the gentleman,, who, in a work on 
the antiquities of Ireland, reports this tradition, states, that the 
e^iest mention which he found of anchorites in Ireland was in 
the year 732. These anchorites were called SteliteSy from their 
living on pillars ; and Mr Harris adds, he was informed by a 
skilful critic in the Irish language, that a tower of the description 
in question is called, in that language, dock ancoire, or the stone 
of the anchorite, and not cloghad, or the Steepler The Styletic 
system began in the East in the year 460, and some anchorites 
are mentioned as late as the year 1200. Evagrius, an author, 
who writes on this subject, describes the mansion of the founder 
of the sect as cm a pillar 40 cubits or 60 feet high, but he also 
describes that of Simeon and that of Daniel as in a pillar. 

Notwithstanding of all this, the theory of Dr Small, though 
fanciful in many respects, is not unworthy of notice. The towers 


in question may have originally been intended for mausoleums, 
and the fact of only two being found in Scotland, one at Aber- 
nethy and another at Brechin, both of which places are reputed 
to have been seats of the Pictish kings, supports the notion 
that the towers were connected with that peculiar people, and 
might have been designed as mausoleums for their princes. The 
fact also that the door-way in the tower of Brechin is 5 feet 10 
inches from the ground, and of Abernethy, about seven feet from 
the foundation of the building, gives room for supposing that 
the space between the ground and the doors may have been set 
aside for containing dead bodies. At Abernethy, there is an 
inner abutment, level with the door-sill, for supporting a floor, 
below which the bodies might have been deposited ; at Brechin, 
there is a similar projection or abutment, about nine inches below 
the door-sill. We own we should like to see the interior of the 
Brechin tower dug into,* although, even if as many skuUs were 
found as the sexton of Abernethy produced to Dr Small, we 
would not then conclude that the building had been erected 
expressly for a mausoleum, or that it was the vault of the Pic- 
tish kings, but we might then hazard a conjecture that some of 
the race had been interred at Brechin. The round tower of 
Brechin is much more perfect than the tower of Abernethy, and 
the materials are decidedly better ; but the style of architecture 
at Abernethy, by squaring the stones and laying them in regular 
courses, is superior to the style of building at Brechin, where 
none of the stones are squared, and no regular courses are kept, 
and where, near the foundation especially, there are a number of 
broken joints, that is the joining of two stones being placed 
immediately above the joining of other two stones ; but then the 
architecture of the doorway of the round tower of Brechin is 
decidedly superior to any part of the building of the tower of 
Abernethy ; and although we long flattered ourselves that this 
diflSculty was got over by supposing the Brechin door-way to have 
been introduced into the buildii^ at an after period, we are now as 
much convinced^ as strict personal examination and the opinions of 
eminent practical masons can convince us, that this door- way and 
all its carving must have been put into the building at the time 

* Our wIhIi was gratified in 1642, as is particularly noticed afterwards. 


of the original erection. It may be conjectured that the tower 
was built in a hurry, of which, indeed, there are many proofs in 
the mason work, and that it was so hurried on to receive a 
royal corpse ; but that, while the rest of the materials were 
being prepared in the most expeditious way possible, time, 
attention, and labour, were bestowed on the comparatively small 
matter of the door-way. Tradition, in Brechin, as well as at 
Abernethy, ascribes the erection to the Peghta; and although 
tradition has not reported at Brechin that they were interrupted 
by any old woman, it has stated that they were only allowed a 
trifle for their work, and were cheated out of part of this trifle ; 
and, possibly, both traditions may import that the buildings 
were erected in comparatively short time. The existence of 
similar buildings in Ireland would not controvert the theory that 
they were originally intended as. the burying-places of princes, 
for, in Ireland, where there were, till a comparatively late period, 
so many independent kings, there may have been as many 
distinct burying-places. To be sure, the lozenge on the door- 
way of the tower of Brechin, throws a doubt upon the theory, 
that these buildings were erected as the burying-places of the 
Pictish kings, for it may be questioned if the Picts or Peghta 
used armorial bearings, or if the Pictish ladies carried their 
quarterings on a lozenge ; but then there is another question, 
whether this lozenge, may not have been cut inio its present 
shape from something else, at a recent period ; and there is yet 
the more primary question, whether, what we have described as 
a lozenge, is a lozenge after all, although we are pretty well 
convinced it is really a lozenge or diamond. 

We own Dr Small's speculation does not coincide with om* 
opinions, and we are inclined to fall into Mr Collinson's theory, 
approved of by Mr Pennant and Mr Gough, that the round 
towers in question were built by the religieuae of the tenth cen- 
tury, as places of mortification, and perhaps of sepulture, and 
we think the fact of the emblems of Christianity being found 
cut on stones, which are evidently part of the original structure 
of the Brechin tower, goes far to prove the correctness of this 

Our readers will recollect the proof we adduced, (page 24,) 


that Henry de Lichton, vicar of Lethnot, gave to Patrick, 
bishop of Brechin (1354-84) a cart, made by Elisha Wright, to 
lead stones to the building of the belfry of the church of Brechin. 
Now, if the supposition we have made is correct, the stones 
which were thus driven could not have been driven for the erec- 
tion of the round tower, which we suppose to have been erected 
nearly 400 years before. The belfry alluded to in the proceed- 
ings with the vicar of Lethnot, may have been the square tower, 
or steeple, in which the largest bell was hung, and which, since 
1806, has been exclusively used as the belfry of the church, but 
we own we can scarce think the vicar of Lethnot would have 
been allowed to get off with so trifling a contribution as a cart, 
to assist in driving stones for so immense a building ; and, be- 
sides, the square tower is universally called the steeple in all 
writings which have come under our notice. The round tower 
itself can scarce be meant, because, towards such an erection, 
the whole members of the chapter must have contributed more 
largely than Lichton did in the instance alluded to. The octagon 
top of the rouBd tower is clearly of a different and superior style 
of architecture from the rest of the tower, and we cannot help 
thinking that, as the tower of Abemethy is without a top, the 
Brechin tower had originally been also without any top, and 
that the tower of Brechin had received its top for the purpose 
of being use# as a belfry, sometime about the year 1360; and 
that the top, then erected, was built by Patrick,* bishop of 
Brechin, in the same style as the square tower, bartizan, and 
steeple, then existing ; for it is a legitimate conclusion, that the 
cathedral itself was erected when the bishopric was created by 
David I. , and that the large steeple was built at the same time, or 
about 200 years before the belfry was built on the top of the round 
tower. Here, however, we are again met with the difficulty of 
the arms borne on the lozenge, for, as the practice of carrying 
armorial bearings was little known till the tenth century, and 
was not brought to perfection till nearly 200 years afterwards, 
we can scarce imagine that, if this tower was built in the ninth 
or tenth century, the arms of the founder could appear upon it. 
Granting that the lozenge is an armorial bearing, then the tower 

* Sec ftn account of thib active bishop in Appendix No. II. 



must date somewhere about the year 1200, and, after all, the 
vicar of Lethnot's cart may have assisted at the erection of it. 
We are ahnost satisfied that the figure, so often alluded to, is a 
lozenge, but we are by no means satisfied that it is an armorial 
lossenge, and rather conceive it to be one of those fancy figures 
which an architect would use to relieve the appearance of a 
heavy door sill, and that the lozenge and the two figures of 
animals at the comers were introduced for this purpose. This 
supposition, however, we hazard with very great diflSdence, and 
we own our theory is not much less free from attack than that 
of our Pictish friends. 

We find ourselves, however, bound to come to some conclusion, 
and we, therefore, offer it as our humble opinion that the shaft 
of the pillar, or round tower of Brechin, was erected somewhere 
about the year 1000, the cathedral and steeple about 1150, and 
the belfry, or top of the round tower, about 1360. 

All this in the text we wrote and published in 1839, and as it 
has been often quoted, and not unfrequently misquoted and mis- 
represented by different authors since, in place of rewriting we 
prefer to allow it to remain as then printed, but with the expla- 
nations given in the foot-notes. We have now, however, to state 
that in the month of April 1842, the round tower was explored 
at the expense of the late Patrick Chalmers, Esq., of Aldbar, by 
the late Mr James Jolly, mason in Brechin, acting under our 
directions. The door facing the west, which was previously 
filled up with coarse stones, was opened ; rubbish, which had 
accumulated to the first corbel, was removed to the depth of five 
feet ; the natural soil was dug into for upwards of other five feet 
and under the foundation of the building ; but nothing deemed 
of the least consequence having been found, a printed inscrip- 
tion, stating how the tower had been explored, was placed in a 
glass jar, enclosed in a leaden case, which was again siurounded 
by a thick oak box, well covered with coal-tar, the space between 
the lead and the oak being filled up with fine sand ; and this box 
was then placed below the foundation-stones of the tower on the 
west side, and the natural soil dug out was replaced in the tower, 
and a stone pavement laid above it. We give in an appendix a 


detailed list, made up from day to day during the excavation, 
enumerating everything discovered in the bottoni of the tower, 
which, according to our ideas, had served as a general receptacle 
for all the odds and ends of the several beadles of the church, 
and the refuse of the nests of the owls and of the jackdaws, called 
kaes in Scotland, which, from time immemorial, had built on the 
top of the tower. But some antiquarians may view the list in a 
different light. What we have said is no new idea on our part, 
as may be seen from the letter which we wrote at the time to 
William Hackett, Esq., of Middleton, in county Cork, Ireland, 
brother-in-law of the famous Father Matthew, and which we also 
give in our appendix. At the date of this exploration, the foun- 
dation of the tower on the south-east side was found to be 12 
feet 2 inches below the door-sill ; 10 feet 2 inches below the cor- 
bel or projecting course, where the digging was begun ; and 5 
feet 7 inches below the ground level outside ; and the foundation 
on the west side proved to be 10 inches below the bottom of the 
foundation on the south-east side. The stones used in building 
the inside wall of the tower below the external ground level are 
all, with the exception of one freestone, rough whinstones, kept 
as near as possible to the circle, and the tower is shaken in three 
places below the external surface, apparently from the extreme 
pressure upon a coarse foundation. Mr Jolly was clearly of opi- 
nion that the slight vibrations of the tower, which occasionally 
occur in high winds from the south-east, may be ascribed to the 
fact of the tower being built on a circle or corbel of firm free- 
stone masonry, placed on the rough foundation of whinstones, 
with projecting points brought to a level for the corbel with small 
stoneft We know that the allegation of the occasional vibration 
of the tower is questioned by many ; but we can vouch for hav- 
ing witnessed the motion of the tower on two several occasions, 
and several beadles have assured us of having seen the same 
thing repeatedly, while the late Mr William Shiress, slater, 
who had a house and garden adjoining the churchyard, proved 
the fact by erecting a perpendicular plank of wood, and watch- 
ing the top of the tower appear and disappear beyond it on 
one stormy day, and calling on others to witness the same 
thing. We have noticed, at page 96, and in our appendix, the 


fact of the top of the steeple having been blown down in 1683.* 
We have also noticed, at page 219, the repairs made on the tower 
in 1847. 

On 29 th September 1845, the famous Irish archadologist, Dr 
George Fetrie, visited Brechin, accompanied by some friends, 
and we had the pleasure of a long meeting with the worthy, mild, 
simple-minded gentleman, who is but recently removed from this 
earthly scene. Dr Petrie's views exactly acquiesced with what 
we had published in regard to the round tower of Brechin ; and 
in his '' Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland,'^ a second edition 
of which was published shortly before his death in 1865, he re- 
iterates his statements of the Irish and Scotch towers being of 
Christian architecture, and combats at great length all the dif- 
ferent theories as to their pagan origin. We beg to refer to that 
beautiful volume. From pages 91 to 96 he discusses the round 
tower of Brechin, and, quoting the opinion given by us in our 
. first edition, that the tower was erected somewhere about the 
year 1000, he says, '* An opinion which I shall hereafter show is 
not far from the truth ;'' but a purpose which he did not live to 
fulfil, although towards the end of his volume, at page 410, he 
again says, " The round tower of Brechin, in Scotland, as I shall 
show in the third part of this work, there is every reason to be- 
lieve was erected about the year 1020, and by Irish ecclesiastics." 
Indeed this is so far confirmed by drawings, which we have in 
our possession, of parts of the round tower of Cloyne in Ireland, 

* While UiiB work ia paflsing through the press, we find the f oUowiDg in the 
Aihenaum newspaper of 16th February 1867 : — " One of the most interesting of the 
ancient monuments of Ireland suffered damage in the hurricane of Wednesday week. 
' The pointed stone forming the apex of the round tower at Ardmore, county Water- 

ford, (weighing about 12 stones, and being 2 feet 6 inches in height,) was blown 
down, and, in falling, deeply imbedded itself in the ground. This conical cap of 
the Teiy ancient pillar stood a little out of the perpendicular, having once been 
struck by lightning. The tower remains a venerable object of great interest. At 
the base of the tower a discovery was once made of two skeletons buried there, a 
circumstance which led to Mr WindelVs assertion that the towers were used as 
buiying-places, an assertion in which Mr Petrie could not agree. The old bell of 
the tower could be heard eight miles off, and its situation near the church, like 
that of other towers, may lead us naturally to infer that it was a eampanUe, de- 
tached from the church, as was once the case with ecclesiastical bell towers." The 
tower of Ardmore, we have understood, ia very like, in point of appearance and in 
height and dimensions, to the round tower of Brechin. 


the style of building of which is identical with the Brechin tower, 
while the storeys, the circumference, the thickness of walls, and 
the total height, 102 feet, correspond as near as may be with the 
Brechin tower. Dr Daniel Wilson, in his " Prehistoric Annals 
of Scotland," published in 1851, discusses the subject from pages 
587 to 599, and comes to the same conclusion, that the Irish 
towers, the towers of Brechm and Abernethy, and the small 
church and tower of St Magnus, on the island of Egleshay in 
Orkney, were all built by Christian architects about the close of 
the tenth century. There is a fact worth mentioning connected 
with this Orkney church and tower. They are built of the un- 
hewn clay slate of the district, and the tower, unsymmetrical, 
and bulging considerably at one side, much resembles the burgs 
so common in Orkney and Shetland. The tower on the island of 
Mousa in Shetland, of which a fac-simile is in the Antiquarian 
Museum of Edinburgh, is just a inide dry stone round tower, with 
the stair in the centre of the wall rising to the top in a spiral 
foim. Can the round towers of Ireland and Scotland be the 
successors of the burgs of Orkney and Shetland, which they so 
much resemble in outward appearance? We think not; but 
the more ancient burgs in figure have certainly the style of the 
more modern towers. 

In the ** Le Revoir" at the end of our first edition we said, 
" On various parts of the church, steeple, and towers are to be 
found initials and dates, afi'ording evidences of the longings after 
immortality which possessed the persons who cut these inscrip- 
tions, but aflfording no evidence of the date of the erections ; at 
least the inscriptions yet discovered all subsequent to 1600 afford 
no clue to the date of the buildings." We have nothing to add 
to this, but that the mason marks, which are also to be found on 
various places inside and out of these buildings, appear to us to 
be of very various dates and far from ancient. 

We remain of our original opinion, that the shaft or pillar of 
the round tower of Brechin is of Christian architecture, and was 
erected about the year 1000, — most likely soon after 990, when, 
as noticed at the beginning of this work, (pages 3, 4,) Kenneth 


Macalpine endowed a church at Brechin, as recorded in the ancient 
Pictish chronicles of that time ; and that the belfry or octagonal 
top of the round tower was built about 1360. The cathedral 
and square steeple, we still think, dates about 1150. 

We give in this work woodcuts of the church from three dif- 
ferent points of view, and we also give an enlarged view of the 
door- way in the round tower. By comparing all these woodcuts, 
which, as already said, have been very carefully prepared from 
photographs, and especially by examining the woodcut of the 
door- way of the round tower, which gives, on an enlarged scale, 
each stone of the building identically as it exists at the present 
day ; by such examination, the reader can satisfy himself of the 
correctness of our statements. 

The cathedral is bounded on the south and east by a steep 
ravine, which is, by some, supposed to have also bounded the 
site of the church on the north, leaving the only access by the 
west. This theory is countenanced by the fact, that travelled or 
artificial earth has repeatedly been found, at a great depth, a 
little to the north of the church within the confines of the sup- 
posed ravine, and it is farther supported by the fact, that peat- 
moss, leaves, and deers' horns have been found in digging graves 
of some depth, within six yards of the foundation of the steeple, 
while no appearance of original soil was to be seen. 

To the east of the church is a lane, leading to the High Street, 
termed the Bishop's Close. Over the mouth of this close, next 
the High Street, is a pend or arch, the sides of which display 
part of the ancient walls which enclosed the bishop s palace, 
and part of the abutments, from which sprung the original 
arch over this entry, which, as we believe, was erected by Bishop 
Carnock between 1429 and 1450. On the north side of this 
lane stood the bishop s palace, but no vestige of it now remains, 
the foundation having been dug out when the house, formerly 
occupied by the senior clergyman, was erected in 1771. This 
house itself was demolished in 1850, and a new manse built in 
the grounds on the south side of the Bishop's Close, while office 
houses were erected on the site where the bishop's palace had. 
stood. When digging the foundations for the new manse in 


April 1850, there were found the remains of a strong wall, under 
ground, running east in a line with the south wall of the nave 
of the cathedral, supposed to have been erected to support the 
flat on which the new manse stands, all which is of travelled 

Near the round tower there lies an oblong stone which was 
dug out of the churchyard some years ago. The stone is covered 
with figures, and its general aspect very much resembles the 
outer case of an Egyptian mummy. We had the stone placed 
upright against the east side of the round tower, and a photo- 
graph of it taken in this position, from which we give a woodcut. 
The stone has at one time been used as a burial stone, for on 
the flat, or lower side, there is an inscription, in alto relievo 
letters, wholly illegible, as if worn out by feet passing over it, at 
the centre and foot, but bearing along the top and sides that 
" Heir rests in the hope " of a blessed resurrection, we presume, 
some now nameless wight, who, as the legend farther reads, 
" feared Grod and eschewed ill, and departed" this world, we sup- 
pose, some 200 years ago, as little known now as the party for 
whom the stone was originally made. There are the remains 
of three stone coffins lying in the churchyard, but it is hard 
to say if this carved stone had been the cover of any of 
them. Most probably two of these stone coffins, which lie 
at the east end of the church, had formed receptacles for the 
bodies of some of the bishops of the see, who had, according 
to the practice of the Popish Church, been buried under the 
high altar ; but this is mere speculation, as we have no history 
on the subject, only these two coffins were found near the place 
where the high altar must have stood. The third coffin, which 
is of larger dimensions, was found near where it lies, on the south 
side of the church. The two stone coffins first mentioned, and 
which were found more than fifty years before the third one, are 
placed alongside a vault or enclosed burying-place, belonging to 
the family of Speid of Ardovie, a family that has been long con- 
nected with this part of the country. On 6th May 1519, the 
Archbishop of St Andrews granted a charter of confirmation and 
novodamua in favour of Thomas Speid, of the lands of Cuikston, 
lying in the regality of St Andrews and barony of Kescobie, on 


the narrative, that Mr Speid and his ancestors had possessed 
these lands beyond the memory of man, without any interrup- 
tion. On 9 th September 1549, Oeorge Speid exchanged the 
lands of Cuikston for the lands of Auchdovey, now called 
Ardovie, in the parish of Brechin, by contract of excambion 
with Robert Camegy of Kinnaird, and the lands of Ardovie 
hare been in possession of the family of Speid ever since — ^for 
ten generations. Immediately opposite the Ardovie vault, and 
affixed to the ruins of the choir, is a monument, erected in 1806, 
by Alexander Ferrier, Esq. of Kintrocket, to the memory of his 
brother, Captain David Ferrier, who made a voyage round the 
world in the Dolphin^ and who died in his native parish of 
Brechin in 1804, at the age of sixty. The fore churchyard has 
a monument to the memory of Mr Alexander Ferrier himself, 
who died in 1809, also aged sixty, and to whom might justly be 
applied the celebrated line of Horace, inscribed on the monu- 
ment of Captain Ferrier : — 

'' MultiB Ille Bonis flebilis occidit." 

A modest stone, a little to the north of the Ardovie vault, records 
the death of Alexander Mitchell, ^' who departed this life the 
28th March 1800, aged one hundred and one years and two 
months ;" and who, consequently, saw the year 1699, a century 
more, and the year 1800, and thus may be said to have lived for 
parts of three diflTerent centuries. The Rev. William Linton , A. M. , 
rector of the Grammar School for fifty-five years, died in 1832» 
at the age of eighty years, and a very handsome granite monu- 
ment, built into the north wall of the churchyard, immediately 
adjoining the large gate, records in classic Latin the acquire- 
ments of the learned gentleman. We have already noticed 
the inscription, built into the north-west wall, relating to the 
visitation of the plague in 1647. 

William de Brechin, as we previously mentioned, founded the 
chapel of Maisondieu about 1256, and part of the walls of the 
chapel still remain. They are situated in the Maisondieu Yennel, 
or Lane, a little west of the Timber Market. We give two views 
of the chapel, an exterior and an interior view, carefully engraved 
from photographs, and exhibiting each stone as it now actually 


exists. These views prove that the chapel had been, originally, 
an elegant little building of the pointed, or early English archi- 
tecture. Within the building, there is still the remains of an 
aumrie, or ambrey and piscine, with an iron pipe for leading to 
the earth the water used in washing the holy utensils. The 
aumrie is seen in the woodcut. The house itself, and the property 
about it, with the superiority of some other lands, and a small 
revenue, payable from the farms of Maisondieu and Dalgetty, in 
the immediate vicinity, are generally gifted by the crown to the 
rector of the grammar-school during his incumbency, who hence 
takes the title of praBceptor of Maisondieu, and in signing charters 
or other writings relating to his office, puts " Praeceptor Domus 
Dei " after his name. Alexander Hog, who held a chaplainry 
in the cathedral church in 1485, is the first person recorded as 
assuming the title of rector, which, however, is as old a title as 
many of higher pretensions. There have been instances, how- 
ever, of these revenues being granted for other purposes than 
education. James Duke of Ross claimed the patronage of 
Maisondieu in 1488, for in January of that year there is a dis- 
pute before the Lords of Council bet^'V'een his nominee and 
another party, who pretended to have got a grant from the 
Pope, and this dispute is only settled on 26th February 1489 ; 
and the Panmure family seem at one period, previous to the 
year 1716, to have been in the receipt of the revenues. The 
annual income of the praeceptory at present is about £42, 198., 
besides occasional entries from vassals, and the property is esti- 
mated as being worth £960. 

Within the burgh, at the junction of what was the Upper 
West Wynd with the Timber Market, now respectively calle<l 
St David Street and Market Street, there is a house said to 
have been a hospitium of the Knights Templars, and which 
holds feu of the Earl of Torphicen as their successor in the 
superiority, lately and appropriately enough used as the Crown 
Inn, now belonging to, and occupied by, Messrs Dickson and 
TumbuU, nurserymen, and on which, till a recent repair of the 
roof, there was a small iron cross on the highest chimney. These 
knights had also some-lands in the neighbourhood, as there are 
pieces of ground, one on the estate of Southesk at Dalgetty, 


called the Templehill, and another on the estate of Caimbank, 
close by Brechin, bearing the title of Templehill of Bothers. 

A house at the foot of Chanonry Wynd, attached to which is 
an excellent garden, now belonging to Mr Mitchell, tenant of 
Nether Careston, was formerly the manse of the rector of Kil- 
moir, '' de antique manses rectoris de Kilmoir," says a charter 
of 1605 amongst the title-deeds. 



Having finished the historical part of our work, we propose to 
devote this chapter to a statistical account of Brechin, town and 
parish, and to a notice of the non-ecclesiastical buildings and 
other particulars worthy of observation in the burgh — in brief, 
having looked on Brechin, hitherto, mainly as it was, we mean 
now to look to it as it is. 

The Parish of Brechin extends in length, from east to west, 
about seven miles ; and in breadth, from north to south, about 
six miles. It contains about 24f square miles. The river 
South Esk runs through the parish in a south-easterly direction, 
and is the only river in it: Esk is simply the English pro- 
nounciation of the Gaelic word uisgCy water. The parish of 
Brechin is bounded by the parishes of Menmuir and Stracathro 
on the north, by Farnell on the south, by Careston on the west, 
and by Dun on the east ; while, on the south-west, it marches 
with Aberlemno. The only hill of any considerable eminence in 
the parish is the hill of Burkell, to the south-west of the town, 
sometimes spelled Burghill and Buttergill Hill; but the slop- 
ing ground on which the town is built is no mean hill, and the 
high lands of Maisondieu, Pittendriech and Barrelwell, on the 
north-west of the town, are rising grounds of some consequence. 
The greater part of the parish, however, is composed of level or 
gently sloping ground. The soil is, in general, light but good. 
The total number of imperial acres in the parish is estimated at 
about 14,423, of which 14,056 are capable of tillage ; while there 
are actually cultivated annually about 8300 in corn, turnips, and 
potatoes, and 3300 in grass ; about 460 acres are in wood ; 239 in 


roads; 18 in railways, and 110 in water. The area of the 
royalty of the burgh is 224 acres nearly ; of which about 18 are 
in roads and streets, and four in water ; while within the Par- 
liamentary boundaries the area is about 417^ acres, thus leaving 
for the landward parish 13,781^ acres. Large quantities of 
com, the produce of the parish, are annually exported. The 
cumulo valued rent of the parish is £8772 Scots. The rental 
of the landward part of the parish is £16,017 ; of the burgh, 
£15,082; while the railway is assessed, within burgh, on a 
rental of £15,820, and, without burgh, on £17,625 ; the total 
rental of the parish thus being for land and houses, £31,100 ; 
for railway, £2345. The average rent of arable land is sup- 
posed to be about thirty shillings the imperial acre ; and of grass, 
for the season, forty shillings. The mode of husbandry followed 
is, for the most part, agreeable to the modem improvements. 
The principal green crops raised in the parish are tumips 
and potatoes for domestic purposes and for the feeding of cattle. 
Potatoes were pretty largely exported for some years, but that 
trade is now again much restricted. Wheat is generally sown 
after the potato crop. From the fourth to the sixth part of 
each farm is usually sown with turnips, or planted with potatoes 
each year, unless on farms adapted for wheat, in which case a 
proportion is fallowed. No beet, and few cabbages, are culti- 
vated. No meadow hay is raised in the parish. Of flax there 
are only a few acres annually sown. Few sheep are reared in 
the parish, and these are generally of the kind called black- 
faced. The horses are now of the common size usual through- 
out the southern parts of Scotland. The other cattle are mostly 
of that breed, known as peculiar to Angusshire, middle-sized, 
and well formed ; although a good nmny short-homed are now 
fed off in the parish, and a few Teeswater and Ayrshire cows 
may be seen on the pasture lands. The management of cattle 
is well understood and attended to. The length of leases is 
generally nineteen years; leases of this duration being considered 
more favourable than those for a shorter period ; but lands, in 
the close vicinity of the town, are often let on leases to endure 
from five to fourteen years. The state of farm-buildings and 
enclosures is good, the buildings being usually of stone and lime, 


and slated, and the fences principally dry-stone walla, although 
hedge-rows are becoming more prevalent. For temporary en- 
closures flakes are generally used, consisting of four longitudinal 
spars of nine feet each, morticed into a spar of about four feet 
of .height at each end, the flakes being bolted together by pins, 
and supported at each joining by lateral posts, sloping to the 
ground, at an angle of fifty degrees or so. Improvements have 
been general throughout the parish during the last sixty years. 
Some seventy years ago a medical practitioner in the town took 
a good deal of land in the vicinity of the burgh, and set to work 
seriously to improve it. For this purpose he bought great quan- 
tities of dung, and raised the price from ninepence or tenpence 
to one shilling the cart-load, when a worthy magistrate of the 
city, also a farmer in a small way, gave up purchasing manure, 
declaring ** he would drive no one shilling dung." Manure now 
fetches, in the burgh, from five to ten shillings each load, ac- 
cording to the quality. 

The following has been hazarded as the average gross amount 
of raw produce yearly raised in the parish, which some friends, 
with whom we have consulted, consider to be rather under than 
above the mark: — Oats, 8000 quarters; barley, 6000 quarters ; 
wheat, 1200 quarters ; turnips, 2000 acres ; potatoes, 1000 acres ; 
hay, 500 acres ; flax, 20 acres. Agricultural male labourers re- 
ceive about fifteen shillings per week; females, so employed, 
six shillings per week, or rather one shilling per day ; but the 
latter class is mostly employed during the summer only, while 
the former may command work in draining, &c., all the year 
round. The wages in harvest are something more, being, males 
twenty, and females eighteen shillings per week. The number 
of agricultural workers in the parish is supposed to be, males, 
200; females, 100, as field workers, generally called "out 
workers." Including allowance of meal, milk, and potatoes, a 
ploughman's wages may be estimated at £36 per annum. The 
usual food of the peasantry is milk, meal, and potatoes, with a 
little butcher meat and fish. The fuel is principally coals and 

The inhabitants, according to the census of 1831, were found 
to be, males, 3048 ; females, 3460 ; together, 6508 ; consisting 


of 1673 families lodged in 900 houses, of which number of 
families 306 were ascertained to be engaged in agriculture. 
This, of course, included the urban district. The rural district 
contained, males, 699 ; females, 749 ; together, 1448 ; families, 
286 ; employed in agriculture, 186 ; in trade, 68 ; other families, 
32 ; inhabited houses, 285 ; uninhabited, 20 ; males upwards of 
twenty years of age, 361 ; female servants, 145 ; male labourers, 
186. In 1755, the population of the parish was supposed to 
amount to 3181 ; and in 1790, it was guessed at 5000; the 
census of 1811 returned 5559, and that of 1821 gave 5906. As 
seen in our appendices, the population in 1841 was reported to 
be 7555 ; in 1851 it was found to be 6638 ; and in 1861 it was. 
7180. The number of burials in the parish, during the year 
1836, was 193; and during the year 1837, it was 191, both 
being unhealthy seasons ; in 1838, the number was 129, which 
was supposed to be about an average of ordinary years. There is 
an ancient burial-place at the eastern extremity of the parish, 
called Magdalene Chapel, although no traces of the chapel now 
remain. Very few bodies are interred in this cemetery, and 
those so buried are not included in the register kept by the 
sextons of the Brechin churchyard, who were our authorities for 
the details we have given. In 1864 the deaths were, landward 
part of parish, males, 6 ; females, 13 ; total, 19 ; in the town, 
males, 72 ; females, 86 ; total, 158 ; together, 177 ; the greatest 
age being that of an old shoemaker in town, who had attained 
to ninety- three years. Births the same year were, in the land- 
ward, 47 ; town, 254 ; together, 301 ; of which, in the town, 
43 were illegitimate, and in the country 6. The marriages in 
the country part of the parish in 1864 were 6 ; in the town, 
44 ; together, 50. These statistics we have from the registrar, 
Mr Macintosh, who also adds, that of the 301 birtlis registered 
in 1864, there were 266 successfully vaccinated ; 24 died before 
vaccination ; 2 were insusceptible of vaccination ; and 9 were 
bom before the Vaccination Act came into operation. 

The climate of Brechin is considered temperate and salubrious. 
Low. intermittent fever is the most general complaint, but agues, 
formerly prevalent, are now rarely heard of, this disease having 
disappeared when wet lands were drained. 


The northern part of the pariah is composed of the old red 
sandstone, the strata of which range from ea^t to west. The dip 
of this rock is to the north, with an inclination of about thirty- 
five degrees. It encloses within it two strata of limestone of 
various dimensions. The first stratum is from eighteen inches 
to two feet in thickness. The second stratum is composed of 
loose boulders, mixed with thin layers of argillaceous sandstone, 
having the same dip as the rock. No animal or vegetable re- 
mains are found in the lime or sandstone strata. Veins of cal- 
careous spar, however, are occasionally met with amongst the 
lime, which sometimes enclose crystals of sulphate of barytes. 
In the southern part of the parish several stone quarries are 
wrought, each of which exhibits a fine section of the gray sand- 
stone. This rock is well adapted for building, being of great 
durability and susceptible of a high polish. The position of the 
sandstone is nearly horizontal. No metals have been discovered 
in any part of the parish. There are no plants or animals pecu- 
liar to the parish. The linnea borealis^ a very rare plant, is 
often found in the woods of Kinnaird, which are partly in this 
parish and partly in the neighbouring parish of Famell. Jhe 
kinds of trees generally planted on moors are Scotch firs, with 
sometimes a mixture of larch and spruce, sometimes larch alone ; 
of late years a proportion of hardwood has been planted with 
the firs, &c. In belts of planting and in gentlemen's policies, 
and where there is depth of soil, hard wood is generally planted, 
no more soft wood being put in than is necessary for shelter to 
the hard wood, and the soft wood being cut out after a few years, 
when the other trees have attained sufficient strength and age. 

The chief heritors of land in the parish are, the Earl of 
Southesk ; the Earl of Dalhousie ; the Earl of Fife ; John Inglis 
Chalmers, Esq., of Aldbar ; Henry Speid, Esq. of Ardovie ; 
T. M. Grant, Esq., of Pitforthie ; Francis Aberdein, Esq., of 
Eeithock ; Mrs Elizabeth Smith of Cairnbank ; George Robert- 
son Chaplin, Esq., of Cookston, and Alexander Collie, Esq., of 

In the parish there are 3 miles 880 yards of turnpike road to 
the west, leading to Forfar, and 2 miles 594 yards to the north 
in the direction of Aberdeen, and 3 miles 880 yards to the south, 



proceeding in the direction of Dundee by the Stannachy Bridge 
across the Esk, a neat bridge of one arch, built in 1823. South, 
towards Arbroath, there are 1 mile 220 yards of turnpike ; and 
east, towards Montrose, 3 miles 880 yards are also in the parish; 
Thus, there are altogether 15 miles 454 yards of turnpike road 
in the parish of Brechin. All the other roads are maintained by 
an assessment raised under an act of Parliament, and laid partly 
upon houses and land, and partly upon the number of horses, 
carts, and carriages kept. There are 22 roads of this description 
in the parish, the total mileage of which is 31 miles ; so that, 
irrespective of streets in the town, there are 46 miles of roads 
in the parish. 

The GiTT OF Bbechin is the centre of the parish of that name 
in the county of Angus, commonly called Forfarshire, because 
Forfar is the county town. Brechin is situated in 2'' 18^ west 
longitude, and 56^ 40' north latitude, is 8^ miles from the sea- 
port of Montrose, 13 from the county town of Forfar, and 42 
miles distant from each of Aberdeen and Perth. The town lies 
upon the face of a hill, on the left bank of the river Southesk, 
and consists of one main street running north and south, and 
breaking off towards the south into two branches. The street 
formerly called Timber Market, now named Market Street, com- 
mences at the North Port, and continues till the place where it 
is intersected by Swan Street and the Upper West Wynd, now 
called St David Street, and below that the street bears the name 
of the High Street, tiU it branches off into two divisions. The 
eastern branch, which formerly was termed the Cadger Wjmd, 
while within the boundaries of the buigh, is now designated Union 
Street, and beyond these boundaries this branch formerly bore the 
names of the Cadger-hillock and Upper Tenements, now changed 
into Montrose Street. The western branch, again, had the titles 
of the Path Wynd and Muckle Mill, now Bridge Street ; and 
when it stretches beyond the confines of the burgh, it was termed 
the Nether Tenements, but is now Biver Street The road to 
Arbroath is by Biver Street, across a bridge over the Southesk, 
an ancient fabric of two arches. The road to Montrose, an ex- 
cellent road, passing through a most beautiful piece of country, 
is by Montrose Street, formerly called the Upper Tenements of 


Caldhame. These two suburbs of Upper and Nether Tene- 
ments, according to their old names, now Montrose Street and 
River Street, are connected together by means oi'paQiB^ as they 
are termed. Running west from the north end or head of the 
High Street, is the Upper Wynd, now called St David Street, 
and running west from the centre of the High Street is the 
Old Nether Wynd, now Church Street, both of which streets are 
connected by St Mary Street at the west end, from which pro- 
ceeds the road to Forfar, by the street now called Castle Street 
Running west from St David Street, where St Mary Street com- 
mences, is a street formerly called Gold's Yards, now Airlie 
Street, with Pearse Street branching off from it, and connecting 
it with the Latch Road, all of which form egresses to the country 
on the west side of the town. Running east from the High 
Street, and in a line with St David Street, is Swan Street, which 
leads into Clerk Street, and thence northward across a mound 
over the Den Nursery to the Gallowhill, from which the road to 
Aberdeen, a capital toll-road, proceeds. Clerk Street, at the 
north, is connected with Market Street by Distillery Road, and 
these run on by another road, the Latch Road, at the junction of 
which the Cookston Road turns off, forming an outlet to the 
north, being the road used by the inhabitants of the parishes of 
Lethnot and Navar, and also by most of the inhabitants of the 
parishes of Menmuir, Dunlappie, &c. From the top of Clerk 
Street, down the west side of the Den to Montrose Street, a new 
road has been opened, termed Southesk Street, from which 
branches off Panmure Street in a straight line with Swan Street, 
cutting across the bottom of Clerk Street. From the point where 
Panmure Street, running past James's Place, intersects Clerk 
Street, the City Road runs south, down to the South Port, so 
that Clerk Street and City Road pursue the same line on the 
east which Market Street and High Street do on the weet. 
Besides the streets enumerated, there are wynds and closes " too 
tedious to mention." The river Esk runs upon the south-weat 
side of the town. Parallel to it runs a bum, designated the 
Michael Den Bum, where it runs through Michael Den, part of 
the policies of Brechin Castle; the Kirkyard Bum, where it 
runs below the churchyard brae ; and the Skinners' Bum from 


the churchyard to the river Esk, because the skinners or tanners 
formerly had pits upon the side of the burn at this place for 
tanning leather. This bum is of pure water till it leaves Michael 
Den, but there it begins to collect the impurities of the town, 
and at thQ foot of the Mill Stairs the principal common sewer of 
the city has long joined this bum, which, therefore, has little to 
boast of in point of beauty or cleanliness. Down the Den again 
runs another burn which formerly was pure, but is now loaded, 
during its course through the burgh, with the refuse of the North 
Port brewery and North Port distillery, and afterwards with that 
of the gas work and other works; and having become more a 
nuisance than an ornament, is now put under cover for almost 
its entire course through the confines of the city. Another burn, 
the Caldhame Bum, joins this one, near the south end of the 
Den Nursery, and as it only brings with it the refuse of Glen- 
cadam distillery, it is comparatively pure; but neither of the 
two tallies with our juvenile recollections of the bonnie wee 
wimplin' burnie of the Den, here hid with grass and daisies, 
there expanded into a broad pool, and anon converted into a 
miniature waterfall. 

The properties within the burgh are generally held by burgage 
tenure, but many are held of the town council in feu from the 
town, or under that body as patrons of the hospital, some of the 
piVBceptory, and a few of the kirk-session. The properties in 
Biver Street are all held in feu from the family of Southesk, and 
those in Montrose Street again are held in feu from the family 
of Panmure. In all cases the feu-duties are small, and the 
casualties of superiority are not rigorously exacted. All these 
properties are situated within the parliamentary boundaries, 
and the inhabitants and proprietors, possessing sufficient quali- 
fication, are entitled to vote for a member of Parliament. The 
parliamentary boundaries, or the boundaries within which pro- 
perty of £10 of annual value must be situated, to give the pro- 
prietor or tenant a right to vote in the election of a member of 
Parliament, are thus described in the Act 2 and 3 William IV., 
cap. 65, " From the point, on the south of the town, at which 
the Skinners* Burn joins the South Esk River, down the South 
Esk Biver to the West Den of Leuchland, thence up the hollow 


of the West Den of Leuchland, and up Barrie s Burn, to the point, 
near the source of Barrie's Burn, at which the Beveral boundaries 
of the properties of Caldhame, Pitforthie, and Unthank meet ; 
thence in a straight line, in a westerly direction, to the point at 
which the several boundaries of the properties of Maisondieu and 
Cookston, and Mr Mitchell's land meet ; thence, in a south-west 
direction, along the boundary of the Maisondieu property, to the 
point at which the same meets the Menmuir road ; thence, in a 
straight line to the westermost point at which the Skinners' Bum 
crosses the Forfar road ; thence, down the Skinners' Bum to the 
point first described." The registered electors in the parlia- 
mentary boundaries of Brechin join with those in Montrose, Ar- 
broath, Forfar, and Inverbervie, in the election of a member to 
Parliament. The number of persons registered as entitled to 
vote for a member of Parliament, at the Brechin polling station, 
in September 1864, was 273. 

In 1831, the population within the royalty was estimated at, 
males, 1615 ; females, 1902 ; together, 3517; and in the Upper and 
Nether Tenements; males, 734; females, 809; together, 1543; 
giving for the parliamentary boundaries 2349 males and 2711 
females, making a total of 5060. The number of inhabited 
dwelling-houses in the royalty was, at this time, found to be 425, 
without the royalty 190, making within the parliamentary bound- 
aries 615 houses, inhabited by 1387 families, of whom 944 re- 
sided within the royalty, and 443 in the suburbs, the latter em- 
ploying 18, the former 190 female servants, giving a total of 208 
female servants. The male servants in the royalty were then 26, of 
whom 17 were above 20 years of age, and 9 under that age — ^none 
in the suburbs. The uninhabited houses were, royalty 8, suburbs 
4. The number of &milies residing within these boundaries en- 
gaged in agriculture was then reckoned at 120, being 72 within 
the royalty, and 48 without the royalty ; and of the members of 
these families, 68 were labourers residing within the royalty and 
35 in the suburbs, together 103. The families engaged in trade, 
residing within the royalty, were, in 1831, ascertained to be 646, 
suburbs 317, total 962. Other families within the royalty were 
estimated at 227, suburbs 78, together 305. The number of un- 
married men upwards of 50 years of age was supposed to be 


144, and of unmarried females upwards of 45 years of age 469 ; 
these classes of course including, respectively, widows and widow- 
ers. The number of males upwards of 20 years of age was then 
ascertained to amount, in the royalty, to 878, in the suburbs, to 
389, total 1267. The average number of births was supposed, 
in 1831, to be about 150; of deaths, about 100 ; and of marri- 
ages 55. The number of Objects was then found to be 37, con- 
sisting of 24 fatuous persons, 10 blind persons, and 3 deaf and 
dumb. We give in our appendix the census tables for the three 
succeeding decennial periods. In 1861, the total population in the 
parliamentary boundaries is estimated at 7180, whereas, as above 
stated, it was only 5060 in 1831, having in these thirty years 
increased by 2120. 

The habits of the people are, in general, orderly. They are, 
like most Scotch people, cautious and observant Many of them 
are fond of reading, especially works on history, practical 
theology, and politics. Indeed, the people of Brechin, in gene- 
lul, take a very keen interest in political movements; an in- 
terest which they have occasionally displayed in rather b, forcible 
manner. The usual food of the labouring people in the burgh, 
is meal, milk, and potatoes, with wheaten bread and fish, or a bit 
of butcher meat once a day. Almost every individual has a gar- 
den attached to his house, which adds not a little to his comforts 
and to his amusement. The modem built houses are dry ; but 
those of ancient structure, used by the working classes, are too 
frequently damp, and not always so cleanly as could be wished. 
The rents paid by tradesmen for their houses yearly, are gene- 
rally about 50s. In their own persons, the inhabitants, espe- 
cially the females, are neat and tidy. Wages in Brechin, as 
elsewhere, vary according to the nature of the employment. 
There are two tobacco works in Brechin, manufacturing above 
60,000 lbs. of dry leaf tobacco annually ; paying to Government 
nearly £10,000 of duties ; and emplojdng five journeymen at 
above 20s. of weekly wages, four apprentices at 4s. 6d., and 
thirty-three little boys at 2s. 4d. weekly each. Again, at the 
Brechin Gras Works, common labourers earn 17s. per week, 
ordinary workmen, 19s. ; superior workmen, 2l8. ; but the work 
is not pleasant In 1864 the gas company manufactured 


9,332,100 feet of gas, and had 8,523,721 feet accounted for, the 
balance being* waste. * This gas was consumed by seven public 
works, eight churches, and 181 street lamps, and a host of other 
consumers, not easily numbered, but it may be stated that 
2000 gas meters were employed. The coals used were 875 
tons of parrot, and 119 tons of small coal. There are four 
quarries in the parish of Brechin, namely, Bridgend, Beisk, 
Hillhead, and West Drums, which employ about fifty men, who 
work ten hours daily, gaining, labourers, 15s. per week, and 
quarrymen, 16s. ; but of course bad weather often lessens the 
week's wages. There are six master masons in Brechin, em- 
ploying about fifty journeymen and fifteen apprentices; the 
apprentices are allowed 5s. weekly, and journeymen earn 248. 
per week, working ten hours per day, interrupted of necessity 
by broken weather. Eoadmen have 2s. 3d. per day, but are 
afiected also by the seasons. There may be about 100 common 
labourers in Brechin, who, for ten hours' work daily, gain from 
14s. to 15s. per week. Carpenters' wages are 19s. weekly, but 
then they have constant employment, the weather not affecting 
their work ; apprentices are allowed 4s. weekly ; there are six 
master carpenters in Brechin, keeping about forty journeymen ; 
besides all which there are eight or ten jobbing wrights. It 
should be mentioned that all tradesmen now have the Saturday 
afternoon to themselves, and thus, for the wages mentioned, 
only work fifty-seven hours per week. The licensed houses and 
shops for the sale of exciseable liquors within the burgh, number 
thirty-four, of which nine are inns or hotels ; the pawnbroker, 
almost a new trade in Brechin, are six in number. The other 
trades within the parliamentary boundaries may be thus enume- 
rated : — ^Auctioneers, 2 ; bakers, 7 ; blacksmiths, 7 ; booksellers, 
4 ; boot and shoemakers, 21 ; druggists, 3 ; earthenware dealers, 
5 ; coal merchants, 4 ; confectioners, 3 ; coopers, 3 ; corn mer- 
chants, 2 ; fleshers, 10 ; grocers, 19, of whom 9 are also spirit 
dealers; hair dressers, 2; small- ware dealers, 3; ironmongers, 
3 ; joiners or carpenters, 15 ; drapers, 9 ; linen manufacturers, 
5; milliners and dressmakers, 17; painters, 4; plasterers, 2; 
plumbers, 4 ; saddlers, 3 ; shopkeepers or dealers in provisions, 
kc.^ besides the grocers enumerated above, 14 ; slaters, 5 ; stone 


masons and builders, 4 ; tailors, 14, including 4 clothiers ; vete- 
rinary surgeons, 3 ; besides a variety of small trades, scarcely 
admitting of enumeration, and no less than thirty-two agents 
for fire and life insurance companies, many of the companies 
having more than one agent, and several of the agents acting for 
more than one company, but absurd in number in any view. 

Coals are the chief feul used by all classes, and are brought 
by land carriage from Montrose, generally by railway, although 
three or four coal-carters still linger on the road. A barrel of 
English coals, which contains 163^ lbs., costs, on an average, about 
Is. 4id. ; Scotch coal, 16s. per ton, and chews, 15s., delivered 
into private dwelling-houses. A small quantity of wood is used as 
fuel, but peats have gone entirely out of use. The town is well 
supplied with butcher meat, which is generally sold at from 7d. 
to lOd. per pound imperial. Fish are also plentiful, brought 
in carts from the coast, and varying in price with the change of 
weather and abundance of supply, but, generally, only about a 
fourth dearer than at the sea side. Butter, cheese, and eggs are 
abundantly supplied by the neighbouring country district ; the 
first selling from Is. to Is. 2d. per imperial pound ;. the second 
from 6d. to 8d., according to quality ; and the last at from lOd. 
to Is. per dozen, according to the season of the year. Chickens 
bring from 2s. 6d. to 2s. lOd. per pair ; hens, each, from Is. 4d. 
to Is. 6d. ; ducklings, 8d. ; pigs, of which a number are now 
brought to the market every Tuesday, bring from 14s. to 15s. 
each ; large pork is sold at from 34s. to 36s. per cwt. ; small, at 
from 44s. to- 46s. The quartern loaf, in August 1864, was sold 
at 5d, the second-quality at 4^d.; fiour, 2s. per stone; barley 
flour, Is. 4d. ; oatmeal, Is. 5d. per stone, and potatoes 10|d. The 
professional gentlemen in the town are, 9 clergymen, 4 physicians, 
4 surgeons, or 8 doctors, as they are generally termed, and 8 
writers, total, 25, besides the different schoolmasters. In 1790, 
there were 1 physician, 2 surgeons, and 3 writers in Brechin. The 
British Linen Company Bank has an office in Clerk Street ; the 
Royal Bank and Union Bank have offices in Swan Street, and the 
City of Glasgow has an office in St David Street The Brechin 
National Security Savings Bank is held in the burgh schoolroom 
every Tuesday evening ; the Upper and Nether Tenements Sav- 


ings Bank is held in Bank Street schoolroom every Saturday even- 
ing ; and the Post Office Savings Bank is open daily at the Poet 
Office in Church Street. The office of the superintendent of 
the parochial cemetery, and of the collector of the police-rates, 
and also of the collector of the poors -rates, and inspector of 
poor, and registrar of births, deaths, and marriages, are in the 
same house in Church Street. The office of the local newspaper, 
the Brechin Advertiser^ published every Tuesday, is in Swan 
Street, and the town clerk's office is also in Swan Street The 
stamps and taxes office is in High Street. 

The chief manufacture in Brechin is the different branches of 
the linen trade. The fabrics made in Brechin, at present, are of 
considerable variety, but may be all ranked under the head of 
coarse linens. These, again, may be divided into two classes, 
the one for the home and the other for the foreign market. The 
linens made for the. foreign market generally range from a reed 
of 24 to 32 porter ; but, in some cases, higher numbers are used 
such as reeds of 32, 34, 36, 38, and 40 porter of 25 inches. 
These linens are made from flax yams of from 2^ to 31b. per 
spindle before being bleached, and are called Spanish goods ; but 
these are neither so regularly in demand nor so easily made here 
as the kinds sent to the New York and West India Markets. 
For these markets, 24, 26, and 28 porter dowlas are made from 
flax warps of 3 lb. per spindle, wefted with tow of from 3^ to 6 
lb. per spindle ; also 28, 30, and 32 porter dowlas of 25 to 27 
inches in breadth, from 3 lb. flax yarns, warp and weft. Previ- 
ous to being woven, the yarns are all bleached, in which process 
they undergo a waste of from 20 to 25 per cent. The same sizes 
of yarns, also bleached, are made into sheetings of 35, 38, and 40, 
inches in width for the same markets. Osnaburghs and diapers 
are occasionally made here for the New York market, but they 
are not to be considered as regular staple manufacture. Those 
fabrics made for the New York market are considered light 
labour, and are, therefore, much sought after by the weavers. 
The goods manufactured in Brechin for the home market are 
chiefly dowlas and sheetings, made from flax yarns varying in 
size according to the fineness of the cloth. Those most com- 
monly made are 34 to 36 porter dowlas, of from 27 to 30 inches. 


and sheetings of same reed, varying in breadth from 36 to 42 
inches, all made from flax yarn, both warp and weft, the size of 
which is 3 lb. per spindle before being bleached. Of late there 
has been a gradual inclination to finer fabrics than the above, 
and now, 38, 40, and 45 porters of from 30 to 40 inches, form a 
part pf the regular manufacture. They are made of smaller 
sized yams of a finer texture, all bleached before being wrought. 
Goods similar to those used in our own country were at one time 
freely sent to France, but that trade has not been pushed of late. 
A few webs are occasionally made by some of our manufacturers 
from brown or self-coloured yams, which undergo a simple pro- 
cess of steeping, plashing or knocking, wringing and drying. 
The greater part of such webs are considered to be for the home 
market, and are chiefly made from flax yams. It may be proper 
to say, for the sake of the general reader, that the reed is that 
part of the apparatus used in weaving which more immediately 
divides the warp and drives up the weft. Reeds in this part of 
the country are made on a scale of 37 inches, varying in thick- 
ness according to the fineness or coarseness of the fabrics to be 
made ; for instance, a thirty porter, or 600 reed is divided into 
600 openings in the breadth of 37 inches ; 20 of these openings 
are called a porter ; into each opening there are put two threads 
making 1200 threads of warp and as many of weft in a square 
yard of linen, through a 30 porter reed. The weaving trade in 
Brechin is meantime in a transition state from hand-loom weav- 
ing to power-loom weaving. Messrs Lamb k Scott, and Messrs D. 
k B. Duke are in the course of erecting large power-loom factories 
for 300 looms each, in Southesk Street, on the ground formerly 
called the Lower Den ; and Messrs J. k J. Smart are largely 
increasing their works in Biver Street. These looms when in 
full employ will turn out weekly as much cloth as could be 
wrought by 3000 hand-loom weavers. " 

There is a bleachfield on the Inch of Brechin, conducted on 
chemical principles, which employs on an average, during the 
year, 70 males and 30 females, at wages varying from 14s to 208 
per week for men, and from 7s to 9s for women ; but this bleach- 
field is also being enlarged, and will soon do one-half more 
business than at present. At the Inch there is also a paper 


work which manufactures annually from 400 to 500 tons of 
cartridge paper, and paper for newspapers, employing 33 males 
and 40 females, and paying weekly £35 in wages. 

The spinning of lint by machinery into yam was begun in 
Brechin, about 1796, at a small mill then erected on the Den 
bum within the piece of ground known as the Witch Den, now 
occupied by the gas company, and part of the original buildings 
is still used by that company as a warehouse. Thomas Jamieson, 
a millwright in town, was the originator of the scheme, and was 
aided in his endeavours by three gentlemen of some capital in 
Brechin. Jamieson made the machinery himself, and so much 
was thought of the aflFair, that within the mill-house, where the 
machinery was made, no stranger was allowed to enter, and the 
door of the building was duly sealed with the words " No 
Admittance,'' on it Jamieson made four frames, so that each 
partner had a spinning frame for his interest in the matter. It 
is said the partners met regularly in a small house occupied by 
Jamieson at the gate of the premises, and each Saturday night 
duly liquidated the profits of the week. Jamieson, who was a 
clever workman, but unsteady man, soon left the Witchden 
Mill, and started other similar works in different parts of the 
country, always, however, stmggling with the world. The 
Witchden Mill was continued under different managements till 
1826, when it was finally disannulled. In 1837 a mill for sawing 
wood was erected within the old spinning-mill house. The mill 
was wrought by two wheels, the one above the other, both driven 
at the same rate of speed by the water of the Den bum, but that, 
too, was no success. 

The East Mill Spinning Company was started in 1799, and the 
machinery being driven by the Southesk, the concern was 
originally much larger than Thomas Jamieson s work. These 
premises are without the' burgh, but within the parliamentary 
boundaries. A cotton-mill was carried on at Eastmills for a 
year or so, but that was soon abandoned, and a lint spinning-mill 
of 24 frames was started. On 20th April 1799, their pay-book 
states that £3, 12s. 5d. were disbursed in wages, and 60 spindles 
of yarn spun for the first week, but these are soon increased to 
£6 of wages, and 220 spindles. In 1810 four power-looms were 


opened at Eastmills. The highest wages paid was, 10s. 6d. to the 
foreman, and the lowest Is. to girls, while 3s. seems to have been 
the average wages of ordinary hands. The Eastmills of the 
present day are thus described in an account kindly furnished us 
by Mr James Ireland, the manager : — " There is a flax spinning- 
mill and bleachfield on the banks of the river Southesk, which 
ifl driven both by water and Bteam-power. The indicated horse- 
power for the spinning-mill is equal to about 450 horses, which 
requires about 2250 tons of coals annually. They import the 
flax principally from Russia, which is spun into yams of various 
sizes and then bleached, and the yams are sold to manufacturers 
in Brechin, Forfar, Kirriemuir, Dundee, and Fifeshire, to be 
manufactured into cloth, and a considerable part is exported to 
Spain, Germany, and other parts of the Continent. In 1864 
they consumed 1450 tons of flax and tow ; this was spun into 
yams of various sizes by 78 spinning frames, containing 5084 
spindles, which produced 844,000 spindles of yarn, the value 
of which would be about £125,000 sterling. The people em- 
ployed was, 153 males; 266 females ; the wages paid amounted 
to £8300 ; the hours of labour, 60 per week. The bleachfield 
has two water-wheels of 30 horses power. In 1864 they 
bleached 1820 tons of yarn, and employed 104 males and 
50 females, and paid in wages £4000 ; hours of labour 60 per 
week, and consumed about 500 tons of coals for drying the 
yams." Mr Ireland adds — " I was led into making a calcula- 
tion of how many miles of yam we spin in the course of the 
year, and I find it amounts to 6,905,454 miles in length ; and as- 
suming the circumference of the globe to be 25,000 miles, it would 
go round it 276 times. The length spun per week is 132,793 
miles ; this would go round the world fully more than 5 times." 

Formerly the neighbourhood of Brechin was much infested 
with bands of smugglers, carrying whisky from the Grampian 
Highlands to the low country ; and Brechin itself depended on 
these merchanis for its supply of rrwuntain dew. Now the mat- 
ter is reversed. There is one extensive distillery in the town, 
called the North Port Distillery, which consumes upwards of 
4000 quarters of barley annually, sending out yearly above 

70,000 gallons of whisky, and employing constantly 25 men at 



14s. weekly and upwards, besides gentlemen of the Excise, wA. 
employed by the distillery company. There is another neat dis- 
tillery, called the Glencadam Distillery, in the immediate vicinity. 
These distilleries supply a far purer spirit than was formerly 
drunk, under the name of smuggled whisky. There is only one 
brewery in the town, a long established concern, at the North 
Port. Whisky, however, is the chief potation of all classes, raw, 
in grog, or in punclu 

Messrs Dickson and Turnbull of Perth have long had a nur- 
sery in the lower part of the town of Brechin. Mr Charles 
Young had a similar establishment on the west side of the city, 
which, some years ago, merged into that of Messrs Dickson and 
Turnbull, and is now considerably extended, and known as the 
•* City Nursery." On the east side of the town, Messrs Henderson 
and Sons occupy the Den, besides a large field of their own, and 
some other ground in the neighbourhood, for a nursery. Messrs 
Mitchell and Young have also a field in the lower part of the 
town, and another in the east side of the burgh, occupied as nur- 
sery grounds. Altogether upwards of thirty-five imperial acres 
are occupied as nursery grounds, affording healthy employment 
to a number of men and women, and paying yearly about £1000 
in wages. These nurseries raise forest and fruit trees of all 
kinds, ornamental shrubs and bushes, seeds, <&c. ; and have hot- 
houses and green-houses attached to each establishment 

A regular market is held in Brechin every Tuesday, at which 
very considerable quantities of grain are bought and sold. The 
grain merchants meet the farmers in town ; a bargain is made 
by sample ; the grain is delivered at some of the neighbouring 
sea-ports during the week ; a printed receipt is then granted for 
the quantity delivered, and on the following Tuesday the farmer 
presents his receipt to the merchant and receives his cash. It is 
astonishing, out of the great number of bargains thus made, how 
few disputes arise, and the fact is equally creditable to farmer 
and merchant. During the autumn and winter months there are 
also weekly markets, each Tuesday, for cattle, and during the 
months of February and March, commencing on the last Tues- 
day of February, and ending on the last Tuesday of March, 
markets for the sale of horses are held. The first Tuesday after 


Whitsunday, old style, is a great market day, chiefly for the 
hiring of country servants; and so is the first Tuesday after 
Martinmas, old style. If any of these term-days happens on a 
Tuesday, then the market is held that day. Formerly these 
term markets were attended by chapmen, who formed a society 
amongst themselves, termed " The Chapmen of Angus," and on 
market days they had a double row of booths on the High Street, 
forming a street of itself, each booth being open to the front, and 
well supplied with all manner of haberdashery and soft goods. 
The chapmen met at the cross at a certain hour the day previous, 
and drew lots for the situation of their stands or booths, which 
were framed of wood, and neatly covered with blanketing to keep 
out the wet. A cooper in Brechin made a trade of hiring out 
the wooden framework of these booths. These chapmen tra- 
velled in the country regularly, carrying their goods some in 
spring-carts, some on horseback, the bales being slung on each 
side of the horse, and some on foot ; an inferior class, called 
packmen, travelled always on foot, and some of them carried 
immense packs on their backs. Then the farmers* wives were 
supplied with most of their braws by the chapmen and pack- 
men, and the farmer himself got his best suit from a like 
source. As the chapman waxed old and wealthy, he settled 
down as a merchant in some borough town. The race is 
now all but wholly extinct On a piece of ground of nearly 
33 acres in extent, belonging to the burgh, and about a mile 
north of it, called Trinity, or more generally Tamty Muir, a 
great fair is annually held for three days, commencing on the 
second Wednesday of June, to which cattle-dealers and horse- 
dealers resort from all parts of Scotland and some parts of 
England. Wednesday is the sheep-market day, most of the 
business being done in the morning; Thursday, all day, is 
given to the sale of nowt, (cows and oxen;) and horses are 
exposed for sale on the Friday. There are other markets 
held on this ground in April, August, and September, but the 
June market v^par excellence termed " the Trinity Fair." The 
April market, called the Spring Tryst, generally a large market, 
is held on the third Wednesday of that month. The August 
market takes place on the second Thursday, and is called Lam- 


mas Muir. The last market, held in September, and which 
takes place on the last Tuesday of the month, is styled the Au- 
tumn Trinity Tryst, and sometimes the " Convener's Market," in 
commemoration of Mr David Mitchell, repeatedly convener of 
the trades of Brechin, who took an active interest in the estab- 
lishment of this market, but it is now a market of no note. 

The town is governed by a provost, two bailies, and dean of 
guild, with nine other councillors, chosen by the municipal elec- 
tors, the registered number of whom, in September 1864, was 235. 
The property of the burgh, at Sept 1864, was valued at £23,856, 
6s. Id., the debts at £11,505, lOs. lOd., leaving a surplus of 
£12,350, 15s. 3d. The income of the burgh arises chiefly from 
feu duties and rents of properties let on long leases ; but there 
are certain subjects let annually by public roup, and in 1864, the 
common customs of the burgh brought £140 ; the dues of the 
shambles and weigh-house, £51 ; and the public washing-house, 
£20. The last item varies considerably : in 1861, the rent was 
£52, lOs. ; in 1862, £31 ; and in 1863, £40. The other two sub- 
jects generally remain at about £190, The expense of lighting, 
watching, cleaning, maintaining streets, &c., are all defrayed from 
the police assessments, which are equal to Is. Id. per pound, 
being for watching, 5id ; lighting, 2d. ; cleaning, Id. ; paving, 
4id. The expense of water is, in the meantime, defrayed from 
the burgh funds, but evidently a water rate must soon be im- 
posed. The stipends of the Established clergymen are paid from 
the teinds of the parish. The entry money, for a stranger, to 
the corporation of Brechin, including stamp-duty, is only 17s. ; 
the sons and sons-in law of freemen pay no more than 14s. 6d. 
A guildry incorporation exists within the burgh, ruled by the 
" dean of the guildry," the fees of admission to which incorpora- 
tion are, for strangers, £10, 10s. ; freemens* sons, 13s. 4d. ; and 
freemens' sons-in-law, £1, 6s. 8d., -while free apprentices are also 
entitled to be entered at a reduced rate, although few or none 
avail themselves of the privilege intended for free apprentices. 
The guildry give their decayed members £4, and their poor 
widows £2, annually ; but these allowances are given as a favour 
and not as a right. The hammermen, bakers, shoemakers^ 
weavers, and tailors, are also existing — barely existing — incor- 


porations, charging from £8 to £10 for the admission of stranger 
members, and nominal fees for the admission of the sons and 
sons-in-law of freemen. All these incorporations contribute to 
the support of widows, orphans, and decayed members. 

The magistrates hold a burgh or bailie court each Wednes- 
day, except daring short recesses in spring, autumn, and winter, 
and a police court each Wednesday, and oftener if required. 
The dean of guild holds courts as occasion requires. The town- 
clerk is clerk and assessor of all these courts, and the procurator- 
fiscal the public prosecutor in each. A justice of peace court is 
held the first Wednesday of each month, and the sheriff holds a 
court, for the disposal of cases under the Small Debt Act, on 
the third Tuesday of each alternate month. The police of the 
burgh is maintained by one superintendent, one sergeant, and 
four constables, besides the town-officer. The livery worn by 
the town-officer consists of a scarlet coat trimmed with lace, 
scarlet vest, dark corduroy or plush breeches, white stockings, 
and black gaiters — ^rather a showy livery: 

The town is supplied with water from the high grounds of 
Cookston, on the north, collected there in two reservoirs, having 
small houses built above them, and in a third large reservoir 
under ground ; and from the high grounds of BurghiU, on the 
south, collected there in a reservoir built under a liberal lease 
granted by the late Lord Panmure. The water is conveyed 
through the town by means of lead pipes, and the fountain-^ 
beads stand so high, that every house in the burgh, with the 
exception of a very few in Market Street^ vniglU command the 
water in the attics ; but in consequence of the constant drainage 
at the public wells, and by private dwelling-houses on a lower 
level, this is not the case. It is very plain, from the increase of 
the population, and, it may be, from the increasing cleanliness 
of the inhabitants, that an additional supply of water must soon 
be got; and the friendly South Esk running past the Inch, 
which is composed of sand and shingle, offers a supply for a 
large well dug in the bleaching-green. 

Brechin is the seat of a Presbytery. The pastoral charge of 
the old parish church is collegiate. Each of the ministers has 
now a manse and glebe. The stipend of the clergyman of the 


first charge is, 1 quarter 6 buAhels wheat; 116 quarters 4 bushels 
2 pecks 1 gallon S-lOths pints barley ; 2 quarters 6 bushels 1 
gallon S-lOths pints bear; 166 bolls 1 firlot 3-lOths pounds 
meal, and £29, 2s. 6}d. in money — equal to 22 chalders, besides 
£10 for communion elements. The stipend of the clergyman of 
the second charge is 20 chalders, half meal, half barley, besides 
£21, 5s. 6d. from the bishop's rents, and £10 for communi6n 
elements. The communion is administered twice a-year, in 
May and in October, each of the established clergymen presid- 
ing alternately. A new church, containing 864 sittings, in con- 
nexion with the Establishment, was opened in the City Boad in 
1836. Part of the old parish was set aside, quoad sacra^ to this 
church, and this section is designated the east parish ; but at 
present there is no minister attached to it, although there is a 
talk of uncollegiating the parish church, redividing the parish, 
and placing one of the ministers in the east church, while the 
other remains in the cathedral. There are two Free Churches, 
one in Church Street; built in 1843, called the West Free 
Church, and the other the East Free Church, erected in 1857 
at the junction of Panmure Street and Southesk Street There 
is a church belonging to " the Second United Associate Congre- 
gation," re-edified in Maisondieu Lane in 1849. Another church, 
belonging to " the First United Associate Congregation," is in 
City Boad, and was rebuilt in 1859. There is likewise the third 
congregation of the United Presbyterians, which meets in High 
Street in a building enlarged from the old English Episcopal 
Chapel. There are thus seven Presbyterian churches in Brechin, 
and there is also a Scotch Episcopal Chapel in Maisondieu Lane, 
called Saint Andrew's Episcopal Chapel, and ever since Episcopacy 
was established in Scotland there has been an Episcopal congre- 
gation in Brechin. On the opposite side of the road from the 
chapel, there is a library built to contain the books belonging to 
the Episcopal Diocese of Brechin, some of which are very valu- 
able, and attached to the library there is a schoolroom and 
schoolmaster's house ; but the school is in abeyance, and scarcely 
seems to be needed in Brechin. A few Boman Catholics belong 
to the parish, but there is no priest or teacher of that communion 
nearer than Arbroath, and the priest only visits Brechin occa- 



sionally, when he officiates in the Mason Lodge in Church Street, 
then converted into a temporary chapel. The different churches 
assemble, during winter, at eleven o'clock forenoon, and two 
o'clock afternoon ; and during summer, at eleven o'clock in the 
forenoon, and a quarter after two o'clock in the afternoon, hold- 
ing the summer to commence on the first Sunday of March, and 
winter on the first Sunday of September. 

Besides the public schools in the handsome building at the 
junction of St Mary Street and Church Street, in which are the 
rector's school, the parish school, and the burgh school, there is 
a commodious school in Bank Street, built by the Free Church 
communion, under the charge of a master and a mistress ; and 
a handsome set of schools in Montrose Street, called the Tene* 
ments Schools, built mainly at the expense of Mr Smith of 
Andover, in which there are a male and female teacher. There 
is also an infant school, which communicates with Bridge Street 
and Union Street, and is very commodiously situated for juveniles. 
There are, farther, several schools for girls merely, and several 
private schools for both boys and girls, one of which, in Market 
Street, is in the evenings converted into what is popularly known 
as a Bagged School. The rector of the grammar-school teaches 
the languages and higher branches of education, and imder an 
arrangement with the town council, he receives a salary of £50 
annually, having conveyed to them all right he has, for his life-* 
time, to the prsoceptory of Maisondieu, the funds of which are 
estimated as being worth about £1000. The salary of the paro- 
chial schoolmaster is £50> besides £10 in lieu of house rent. The 
burgh teacher has a salary of £35. None of the other teachers 
in the burgh has any salary. The master of the Muirland school, 
situated near the village of Little Brechin, about two miles north- 
west of Brechin, has a free house, school, and garden, and a small 
annual allowance from a fund mortified by Mr Johnston, minister 
of Brechin, about 1770. There was a mortification by the Bev. 
John Glendye, Dean of Cashel, who about 1690 founded a bur- 
saiy in the University of St Andrews, but it was lost sight of 
tomehow, and is now given by the patron to any one he pleases- ^ 
Mr John Fyfe, minister at Navar, by a deed dated 12th Maty 
1658, and recorded in the Presbjrtery Becords on 17th July 


1706, mortified 500 merks due by the town of Brechin, and 5(X) 
merk's due by the laird of Findowrie, the interest to be applied 
by the Presbytery for helping to maintain " a pious young man 
and student at the New College of St Andrews, and whenever 
that occasion cannot be had of a student standing in need thereof, 
I appoint," says the deed, " the said annual rent to be employed 
for helping of some poor honest man's bairns at the school of 
Brechin." The Presbytery draw yearly £1, 7s. 6d. from the 
town of Brechin, and the like sum from the laird of Findowrie, 
and apply the money in educating boys at the schools in Brechin. 
There are other two mortifications, the one, Dakers', constituted 
in 1859 for the education of boys ; the other, Black's, given in 
1861 for the education of girls — both under the management of 
the town council ; but they are burdened with the liferents of 
certain parties, and have not yet become eflicient. The fees 
payable in the public schools are regulated by a schedule ap- 
proved of by the patrons, and most of the private schools have 
adopted the same rates. At present there is a movement for an 
alteration of the fees of the public schools, and a new arrange- 
ment of the classes to be taught by each master ; so we do not 
specify the fees, but state generally that they are very moderate. 
There are also Sabbath schools in different parts of the town, 
taught by laymen in connexion with the several Presbyterian 
churches ; and the Episcopal clergyman generally labours most 
assiduously during the Sundays of the spring, summer, and 
autumn in catechising the young folks of his congregation. 

In the town there is a parish library, consisting of above 600 
volumes of a useful and religious kind ; similar libraries belong- 
ing to each of the Free churches, one belonging to the Second 
United Associate congregation, and a library of pretty much the 
same description belonging to Saint Andrew's Episcopal chapel ; 
also the extensive library belonging to the Mechanics' Institution. 

A Bible Society has been long in active operation in the town, 
and societies in aid of those for propagating Christianity in India, 
and for missions, schools, and tracts, have existed for many years. 
The several congregations in town have likewise annual contri- 
butions for aiding in the propagation of Christianity at home and 
abroad ; and there is a Book and Tract Society. 


A dispensary for administering medicines and medical advice, 
gratis, to the poor, was established in 1824 ; and in 1810 a Ladies' 
Society for the relief of aged and indigent women was also estab- 
lished. These ladies distribute one shilling monthly to about 
sixty poor females. A coal fund, under the charge of the ladies 
of the burgh, has been in operation for several years, and 
by distributing from two to three barrels of coals in winter 
amongst a number of poor families, has done an immensity of 

There are also in Brechin a curling club, having a nice^pond 
at Brechin Castle ; a bowling club, rejoicing in a handsome green 
in Pearse Street; several cricket clubs, which play over the 
Trinity Muir market stance; the horticultural and omotholo- 
gical societies, which give displays of flowers and birds twice 
a year ; and last, but not least, there is the Brechin Amateur 
Vocal Society, which occasionally favours the public with a con- 
cert for some charitable purpose. 

The Town House of Brechin is in the middle of the town, 
near the cross, or market place. It was built in 1789, and is a 
respectable edifice, containing a court-room below, with a well 
proportioned and neatly-finished town-hall above' growing too 
small for the increasing population of the burgh. We give a 
view of the Town Hall, and part of High Street and Church 
Street, with the Mechanics' .Institution in the distance. The 
council-rooms communicate with the town-hall, and are imme- 
diately above the prison, a melancholy building, which originally 
contained a debtor's room, and two cells for criminals, all as 
well ventilated as a building so placed in the centre of the 
most crowded part of the town could ba On the establishment 
of a regular police, the debtor's room was converted into a police 
office, and the criminal cells were improved, while temporary 
•* lock-ups" w6re erected in the police office. The Tolbooth of 
Brechin has, we believe, always stood where the present Town 
House stands, and we find the present site indicated about 1537 
as the site of the Tolbooth. The inmates of this building, in 
the course of the year 1837, were twenty criminals and four 
debtors ; but no debtors can now be imprisoned in Brechin, nor 
can any criminals be detained for punishment, the jails of For- 


far and Dundee being the only legalised prisons for criminals 
and debtors at present. 

Adjoining the Court House is a property which formerly be- 
longed to the Earl of Airlie, and of which that noble earl is still 
the superior or over-lord. It appears to the right in the wood- 
cut, and good eyes may read " Baking Company" on the sign 
above the shop. The Airlie family were proprietors of the house 
in 1633, as appears from some title deeds of that date. The 
children of Brechin play a game, where one sets aside for him, 
or hetself, a small space, which is termed the green, and the 
others trespass more or less upon this space, singing at same 
time, " I set my foot upon Airlie s green, and Airlie daur na 
catch me ;" and if the occupier of the green succeeds in catching 
an intruder, this intruder is compelled to become "Airlie." This 
game is said to have reference to this property, which was ex- 
empted from the jurisdiction of the magistracy, and was solely 
under that of Lord Airlie, who exercised the powers of con- 
stabulary vested in that noble family, on all who intruded upon 
his green. 

In Church Street there is a large three storey dwelling-house^ 
known as " Lady Ballownie's House," and said to have been 
the town residence of the Earls of Crawford ; and in it there is 
a draw-well of very fine water, and a large arched fire-place, 
confirming the theory of it having been a house of note. A 
dwelling-house on the north side of the Black Bull Close, with 
such another arched fire-place in it, now occupied by very poor 
tenants, was the residence of Provost Doig of Cookston, and in 
it was born his daughter Agnes, afterwards Lady Carnegie of 

The Swan Inn was long the principal inn of the town ; but 
it has recently been wholly removed, and its place filled up by 
the City Hall in Swan Street. The Commercial Hotel in Clerk 
Street is now the principal inn ; but there are several other 
highly respectable houses, amongst which may be named the 
Cross Guns in Market Street, the Crown Hotel in St David 
Street, and the Star Hotel in Southesk Street. 

The former school was a neat plain building of three apart- 
ments, facing the western entrance to the town, and surmounted 


by a belfiy and clock face. The late Lord Panmure, however, 
with the noble generosity of a great mind, caused to be erected 
on the site of the former schools a handsome building of two 
storeys in the Gothic style, with square-headed muUion windows, 
and having a front of eighty feet, with a square tower, rising in 
the centre to the height of eighty feet The lower floor contains 
the schoolrooms for the different masters, and the second floor 
consists of apartments for the accommodation of the Mechanics' 
Institution, the lecture-room of which forms a magnificent hall, 
fifty-five feet by thirty feet, growing^ like the Town Hall, too 
small for the burgh. 

The Brechin Mechanics' Literary and Scientific Institution, in- 
stituted in 1835, with such ample accommodation as that provided 
by Lord Panmure, and endowed as it was by him with a gift of 
£1000 and a legacy of another £1000, of which, however, from cir- 
cumstances only £500 have been got, an institution so endowed, 
has, as might have been expected, proved a decided success. The 
library, daily increasing, possesses above 3000 volumes; each 
winter some dozen of lectures are delivered on interesting sub- 
jects, and the membership, constantly increasing, numbers some 
500 individuals. The inhabitants of Brechin seem, generally, 
to hold, with Shakespeare, that 

" Ignorance is the ourse of God, 
Knowledge the wings wherewith we fly to heaven ;" 

and we have no doubt they will continue to avail themselves of 
the facilities for acquiring knowledge so amply provided for them 
by the institution. 

A gas-light company, also instituted in 1835, has thriven 
remarkably well, almost every house in the town and tenements 
being lighted with this fluid. The works are situated in the 
lower part of the town, at the Witch Den. 

There is a mason lodge, a very neat building, situated in 
Church Street, in which the brethren of the mystic tie occasion- 
ally assemble, under the name of St James's Lodge of Masons. A 
friendly society, consisting of about eighty members, is connected 
with the lodge. The entry-money to the society varies from 5s. 
to £7, I5s., according to the age of the entrant, besides which, 
the members pay Is. 6d. quarterly. The benefits given for 


these payments axe, 3s. per week during the first six weeks of 
bad health, and 28. per week thereafter; Is. weekly to each 
member above sixty-five years of age; 20s. of funeral money, 
and 38. quarterly to widows, or the like sum to the children, 
where there is no widow, till the youngest attain twelve. St 
Ninian's Lodge of Masons, the oldest established lodge in Brechin, 
is purely a lodge of masons, and keeps its character up in good 
style. The Old Wright Society of Brechin, to which the mem- 
bers contribute Is. quarterly, gives pretty similar allowances. 
A benevolent society or Lodge of Odd Fellows also exists, which 
provides for sick members only. Some yearly societies are 
annually established for the same purpose. And there is an 
Olive Lodge of Gardeners, promising allowances to sick and to 
widows. Besides these, there is a society of a higher grade, 
styled the Merchant Society, intended to provide an annuity 
of £10 per annum to widows or children. An encampment of 
Knights Templars has been more than once established, but the 
camp has never been sufficiently protected, for, hitherto, it has 
not been able to keep its ground in Brechin. A Royal Arch 
Lodge, connected with the encampment, has gone with it. 

Carriers have almost disappeared from the roads, and stage- 
coaches have gone altogether, since we last wrote — the railway 
having superseded carts and coaches in most directions, still 
there are three or four daily carters between Brechin and Mon- 
trose. Our Slateford neighbours have their two carters twice 
a-week to Brechin, and the Highland district of Lochlee sends 
down a similar conveyance each Monday, which returns north 
every Tuesday. Fearn and Lethnot have each their Tuesday car- 
rier, while to Luthermuir there is a cart with goods twice a-week. 

The through mails are now also carried by the railway. The 
hours of delivery by the letter-carriers begin from the south at 
7 o'clock morning for the sununer months, and 7.30 morning 
for the winter months; and from England and the south at 
12.15 P.M. all the year round, and from the north again at the 
window to those having boxes at 2.30, and to the public by the 
letter-carriers at 6.30 p.m. On Sundays the delivery is only 
from the window from 1 to 2 p.m. The mail is despatched for 
the north, that is, for Montrose, Aberdeen, Inverness, Ac, each 


day at 10.10 a.m. and 10 p.m., while the bags for the south close 
at 1 and 4.45 p.m. With one penny additional stamp, letters 
may be posted, in each case, five minutes later than the hours 
named; but letters to be registered must be presented fifteen 
minutes sooner. A mail gig goes to Edzell, where there is a 
regular post-office; the other parish posts are all carried by 
runners. The local despatches are all in the morning. 

The arms of the town of Brechin are the figure of Saint 
Ninian sitting in a Gk)thic porch, with his left hand on a 
crucifix, bearing an image of Christ, and his right hand raised 
in the attitude of blessing, and below a shield with three piles 
upon it. There is no motto. The seal of the city is the same, 
with the addition of a thistle issuing from each side of the 
shield, and the words in black Saxon characters in a circle 
round the arms, " Sig : Civitatis de Brechin," — the seal of the 
city of Brechin. The arms of the Bishop of Brechin are de- 
scribed in heraldic language, as, '* Argent, Three Piles meet- 
ing in the point in base, Gules." In common language, this 
means: On a white shield, three red piles meeting in the 
point at the bottom. The " three piles " of the bishop are also 
in the armorial arms of the town, as already noticed. These 
'' piles " by some are understood to represent the three nails by 
which Jesus Christ was fastened to the Cross. In 1848, a brass 
matrix was found in the Links of Montrose, showing the head 
of a bishop, with a hunting-horn below, and the inscription, 
" Sigillum Curie Officialis Brechinensis ;" and amongst the 
documents which had belonged to the Messrs Spence, formerly 
town-clerks of Brechin, there were some years previously found 
the seal of the official of the provincial of the Dominican friars 
of Perth, and of Bishop David Strachan, and also the brass 
matrix for the seal of the chapter of the cathedral church, an 
elaborately executed engraving in brass. All these seals are 
now deposited in the museum of the Society of Antiquaries. 

The Spotiistooode Miscellany gives this description of Brechin 
about 1680 : — " Brechin is a royall burgh. The bishopp is 
provost thereof; hath the electione of a bailie. Earl Panmure 
hath the electione of the eldest bailie, and the toune has one. 
It lyes very pleasant! ie upon the north syde of the water of 


Southeek, which runneth by the walls thereof. The yards 
thereof to the south end of the tenements thereof, where there 
is a large well-built stone bridge of two arches, and where Earl 
Panmure hath a considerable salmond fishing, and lykwayes 
croves under the castle walls, which lyes pleasantly on the water, 
and is a delicat house, fyne yards, and planting, which, with a 
great estate thereabout, belonged formerly to the Earl of Marr, 
and now to the Earl Panmure, and is called the Castle of Bre- 
chine. The toune is toUerablie well built, and hath a consider- 
able trade, by reason of their vicinity to Montross, being fyve 
(Scots, or eight imperial) myles distant from it ; but that which 
most enriches the place is their frequent faires and mercats, 
which occasion a great concourse of people from all places of 
the countrey, having a great faire of cattle, horse, and sheep, the 
whole week after Whytstmday, and the Tuesday thereafter a 
great mercat in the toune; they have a weekly mercat every 
Tuesday throughout the yeare, where there is a great resort of 
Highlandmen, with timber, peats, and heather, and abundance 
of muirfoull, and extraordinarie good wool in its seasone. Item, 
A great weekly mercat of cattle, from the first of October to the 
first of Januare, called the Crofts Mercat. Itenij A great horse 
mercat weekly throughout all Lent, /tern, A great horse fair, 
called Palm Sunday's Fair. It is a very pleasant place, and 
extraordinare good land about it. Earl of Soiithesk has a great 
interest lykwayes in the parish. Ballnabriech, belonging to the 
Laird of Balnamoone, a good house, and a considerable thing. 
Cookstoune, belonging to John Carnegy, lyeth very pleasantly 
at the North Port of Brechine, and is good land. The Laird of 
Findourie hath a considerable interest there, the most of it in 
acres about the toune ; a good house, and well planted. Arret, 
belonging to the Viscount of Arbuthnot, is a fine little house, 
lying upon the north syde of Southesk, with a fishing. Auldbar 
hath lykwayes an interest there, — Pitforthie, Bait, Keathock, 
Edgar ; with a good new house, built by this present laird, Mr 
Skinner, minister." 

Brechin Castle, the seat of Tiord Panmure, (as we generally 
style that nobleman in Brechin, although he now bears the 
higher title of the Earl of Dalhousie,) stands on the brink of a 


perpendicular rock, above the Southesk, a little to the south of 
the town, from which it is separated by a continuation of the 
ravine behind the cathedral. This castle was besieged by the 
English under Edward I. in 1303, and was, for twenty days, 
gallantly defended by Sir Thomas Maule, then Governor in the 
interest of The Bruca Sir Thomas, who was the ancestor of 
the family of Panmure, was slain by a stone cast from an engine 
placed on the opposite rising ground, upon which the castle was 
instantly surrendered. Part of the tower where Sir Thomas 
Maule was killed is still pointed out ; and on the opposite risiug 
ground, from which the fatal stone was thrown, a number of 
rude coffins, composed of loose stones, were lately found, in one 
of which was a skull with a nail driven through it, probably part 
of the missiles thrown from the castle. The south front of the 
castle, which is romantically situated above the river, has been 
recently rebuilt, and a square tower added. The west front 
forms a regular building in the style of the seventeenth century, 
with round towers at the flanks. Here the castle was protected 
by a ditch, (filled up partly when additions were made to the 
building in 1711, and partly at subsequent times,) while the 
river Esk on the south, and the ravine on the north and east, 
formed natural barriers against intruders; so that, originally, 
the castle has been pretty well protected with defencea The 
interior, which has been lately renovated, is handsomely and 
comfortably furnished, and adorned with a number of beautiful 
paintings, busts, and other works of art. 

Brechin has given birth to several eminent men, most of 
whom we have already alluded to ; we here enumerate them : — 
Bishop Gawin Douglas, author of the '' Palace of Honour," and 
other poetical works, was bom in Brechin in 1471. Alexander 
Scott, who wrote several poetical pieces about 1562, is under- 
stood to have been a native of Brechin. Thomas Dempster, pro- 
fessor successively in the colleges of Nimes, Pisa, and Bologne, 
is believed to have been bom in Brechin in 1580. He wrote 
the *' Ecclesiastical History of Scotland," in twenty-nine books, 
besides many miscellaneous works, and died at Bologne in 1625, 
while occupying the Greek chair of that tmiversity. Then there 
are the Rev. William Guthrie of Fenwick, bora in 1620, author 


of " The Christian 8 Great Interest ;" the Rev. John Glendye, 
dean of Cashel, and prebend of St Michaers, Dublin, the 
founder in 1690 of the Glendye bursary in the College of St 
Andrews ; William Maitland, the author of the " Histories of 
London and Edinburgh," born about 1690; William Guthrie, 
the author of the ** Geographical Grammar" which bears 
his name, and a variety of other works, bom in 1708 ; David 
Watson, author of the " History of the Heathen Gkxis," Ac., 
born in 1710; the Right Honourable George Rose, clerk of 
Parliament, author of " Observations on the Works of Fox," Ac., 
bom in the neighbourhood in 1744, and educated in Brechin ; 
John Gillies, LL.D., author of the ** History of Greece," and 
historiographer for Scotland, bom in Brechin in 1746, died in 
1836, in his eighty-ninth year; the Honourable Adam GUlies, 
one of the senators of the College of Justice under the title of 
Lord Gillies, born in 1766, died in 1842; a younger brother of 
Dr Gillies ; Alexander Laing, author of " Pawkie Adam Glen," 
** Wayside Flowers," and many- other poems, bom in 1787 ; 
William Pennycook, manufacturer, and James Crabb, painter, 
both born about 1790, each wrote many pretty pieces of poetry, 
which were printed in the newspapers of the time, but neither 
ever published anything on his own account; Robert Lowe, 
teacher of dancing, an accomplished musician, author of many 
musical pieces, and an amateur painter of no mean powers, 
bora in 1791 ; the Rev. John 8. Memes, LL.D., minister of 
Hamilton, the author of the '* Life of Canova," and a general 
writer on literary subjects, born in 1795; the Rev. James 
Martin of Edinburgh, a writer on theological subjects, bora 
in 1803; the Rev. John Pringle Nichol, LL.D., professor of 
astronomy in the College of Glasgow, and author of many 
works on astronomy, born 30th January 1804 ; John Hender- 
son, architect in Edinburgh, also bom in 1804 ; and, finally, our 
quondam apprentice, John Hendry, Writer to the Signet, a 
writer on conveyancing, bom on 18th Nov. 1833, and who died 
on 13th May 1863, at the early age of twenty-nine. All these 
we record amongst the dead. — ^Alive at the present day we may 
name : — The Rev. James Welsh of New Deer, a mathematician 
of no mean power, who, about 1810, composed a treatise on 


algebra, manufactured many of the types and diagrams requi- 
site, set up the tjrpes, printed the book, and bound it, in his 
father's house in Blackbull Close ; Colvin Smith, Esq., R.A., a 
portrait-painter of fame; the Rev. Thomas Guthrie, D.D., of 
Edinburgh; the Rev. Alexander Terrier Mitchell, professor ojE 
Hebrew and Oriental languages in the University of St An- 
drews ; Andrew Jervise, Esq., her Majesty's Inspector of Regis- 
trars, author of the ** Memorials of Angus and Mearns," and 
many other works, and who can use his pencil as well as his 
pen ; — and if we omit others it is because our list would other- 
wise swell out to an unreasonable length. 




No. I. 


WiLLELMUS, Rex Scotie, omnibus probis hominibus totius 
Scotie ; Salutem : Sciatis me concessisse et carta mea confirmasse 
Episcopis et Keldeis de ecclesia de Brechin, donationem illam 
quam dedit eis Rex David, avus mens, per cartam suam de foro 
imperpetuum habitnro in villa per dies Dominicos adeo libere 
sicnt Episcopos Sanctiandree forum habet. Testibus, Andrea, 
Episcopo de Catones, Nicholaio, cancellario. Apud Brechin. 


William, King of Scotland, to all honest men of the whole of 
Scotland, greeting : Know me to have granted, and by this my 
charter to have confirmed, to the bishops and Culdees of the 
church of Brechin that donation which King David, my grand- 
father, gave them by his charter, of market to be held in per- 
petuity in the city on the Lord's-days (or Sabbaths) as freely as 
the Bishop of St Andrews holds a market. Witnesses, Andrew, 
Bishop of Caithness, and Nicholas, the chancellor. At Brechin. 

Note. — ^The original of this charter does not now exist, but it is 
copied into a transumpt of the principal charters of the church 
of Brechin, made before Robert, Bishop of Dunkeld, at the in- 
stance of John, Bishop of Brechin, on the 16th May 1433, which 


transumpt is No. 54 of the charters in the charter-room of the 
city of Brechin ; and it is also copied into another transumpt of 
a variety of charters made at the sight of the sheriff and a number 
of landed gentlemen of Forfarshire, on 21st July 1450, and which 
last mentioned transumpt is No. 106 of the charters of the town. 
Both transumpts are printed by the late Patrick Chalmers, Esq., 
of Aldbar, in his " Registrum Episcopatus Brechinensis," vol. i. 
pages bQ and 138. The above copy is taken from the original 
transumpts, and collated with Mr Chalmers's printed charters. 
Mr Chalmers also prints briefly, (i. 9,) a transumpt of the same 
charter, made before the Bishops of St Andrews and Dunkeld in 

We stated in our first edition that Brechin was a royal burgh 
in the twelfth century. This statement has since been contra- 
dicted, and it has been assumed that Brechin held of an eccle- 
siastical superior, and that, as after the Reformation, that supe- 
riority was vested by Act of Parliament in the crown, Brechin 
only became a royal burgh in the time of Charles I. in 1641. No 
evidence exists that the burgh had privileges from the bishop, 
although many tenements in town were held feu of him and of 
the other ecclesiastics connected with the burgh; and of the 
Knights Templars ; and also of various laymen, as well as in free 
burgage. In the work entitled '' An Inquiry into the Rise And 
Progress of Parliament," by Alexander Wight, Esq., advocate, 
Edinburgh, edition 1806, page 36, we find it said, "At what pre- 
cise time the erection of such corporations (royal burghs) first 
took place in Scotland, cannot indeed be discovered with cer- 
tainty. The oldest charters to burghs now extant, or of which 
we have any knowledge from later instruments, were given by 
William the Lion ; and the most, if not all, of these, are rather 
to be considered as grants of particular privileges to the inha- 
bitants, than as charters erecting them into communities or bodies 
corporate, with power to choose their own magistrates," and, 
in proof of this remark, Mr Wight gives a charter by James III. 
to the town of Inverness, which recites verbatim four charters by 
William the Lion and other princes, in which grants by David I. 
are mentioned. Now this is exactly the case of Brechin, which 
is included in the roll of the royal burghs from the earliest period. 


No. 11. 



Notwithstanding Mr Black's elaborate investigation into the 
origin of the word " Brechin/' an investigation creditable alike to 
his research and his learning, — we think he has entirely failed in 
tracing the etymology of the term. 

The question, like others of a similar nature, must be deter- 
mined by a reference to the original inhabitants of the country, 
and the language they spoke. Who, then, were the aborigines of 
Brechin, and what was their language ? At a very early period 
of the history of the human race, a migratory horde of Asiatics, 
issuing from the base of the Himmalaya Mountains in India, 
called in their own language " Caoilltich ; " by the Greeks, " Kel- 
toi;" by the Romans, "Keltae" or "Celtae;" and in these 
islands, " Kelts " or " Celts," from the Celtic words caoilly a wood, 
and tarnh, to dwell, (literally, dwellers in woods,) migrated into 
Asia Minor, and took possession of the coasts of Syria and adja- 
cent territory. They worshipped Bel and Astarte, known to the 
Hebrews as Baal and Ashtaroth, and built temples in the midst 
of groves usually situated on rising eminences, at which a body of 
priests, denominated "Druids," officiated In whatever country 
they located themselves they introduced chariots, attached to the 
axle-trees of which were scythes for the purpose of mowing down 
their opponents in battle, — and which in ages antecedent to the 
organisation of standing armies proved extremely formidable to 
barbarian infantry. In process of time, when population began 
to press on the means of subsistence — a crisis which occurs at an 
earlier stage among a pastoral than an agricultural community-^ 
detachments from this horde would in all probability have crossed 
the Hellespont into Europe, and settled in Greece, within sight of 
Italy. The word •' Italy" is a compound of two Celtic words, 
" Edal," pasture, and " I," an island ; and though Italy is a pen- 
insula, and not an island, yet its appearance from the coasts of 
Greece would naturally lead the inhabitants to suppose it was the 


latter. From the fertility of the Italian soil and its luxuriant 
vegetation, we may infer that the earlier settlers in Greece, during 
the summer months, when vegetation there was scorched by a 
powerful sun, would be attracted with their flocks and herds to 
the rich pasturage of Italy. Accordingly we find that whea 
iEneas — son-in-law of Priam, king of Troy — fleeing from the 
wrath of the "perfidious Greeks," landed in Italy, he was opposed 
by numerous and warlike tribes. 

The next outlet for a redundant population, pressed moreover 
by Greek colonists seizing on the Italian coasts, would be Gaul 
and Spain, which would have been entered by the Alps and 
Pyrenees, and from these countries Great Britain and Ireland 
came to be peopled. We are distinctly informed by Julius Caesar 
that he found Britain thickly inhabited by a race similar in lan- 
guage, manners, and customs, to the Gauls. 

We have now traced the aborigines of this country to the great 
Celtic family, who in ages involved in a hoary antiquity occupied 
the greater portion of Europe. A portion of this family it was, 
probably intermixed with a sprinkling of Shemitic blood, from 
whom the Abrahamidae claimed the land of Canaan as an inherit- 
ance set apart by divine promise to them and their posterity. 
We know that the religious customs of the inhabitants of Canaan 
were very diiSerent from those of Egypt, and from the mythology 
which subsequently arose in Greece and Rome; and we are in- 
formed by Moses as well as by Josephus, that the Hebrews had 
to contend with their armed chariots, though they themselves were 
prohibited from using them. It is probable that the invention of 
the Macedonian phalanx by Philip of Macedon may have taught 
the Orientals the uselessness of this instrument of war as a means 
of charging and breaking opposing ranks, and thus led gradually 
to their being abandoned. Be this as it may, we learn from 
Caesar's Commentaries, that chariots were used in this country, 
and we are informed that Boadicea the British queen, attended 
by her daughters, with dishevelled hair, rode round her army, 
exhorting them to fight the Boman invaders. And in the battle 
fought between the Romans and Caledonians, (Gaoill-duin, men of 
the woods,) in the neighbourhood of Brechin, Tacitus records that 
by the steadiness of the imperial legions in withstanding the first 


charge of the Caledonians, and the weight of their assault in 
return, these machines were driven with great impetuosity into 
the ranks of their own infantry, and decided the fate of the battle 
in favour of the Roman general. 

We think that the use of chariots in war could not have been 
an invention of the aborigines of this country, but must have been 
introduced by them from their original settlements in the East, for 
however suitable they might have been in the plains and table- 
lands of Asia, even previously to the construction of military roads, 
they could never have been efficient as a means of offence or de- 
fence, in a rugged and mountainous country like Scotland. 

That the religious belief of the aborigines of this country was 
similar to that which obtained at a very early period among power- 
ful tribes in India, and subsequently in Asia Minor, and Conti- 
nental Europe, no one in the least acquainted with ancient history, 
— with the description of Tumuli and temples recently discovered 
in those countries, and with similar remains, still existing in this 
neighbourhood — will venture to deny; and we may also, in corrobo- 
ration of this point, allude to many superstitious notions which the 
progress of Christianity and education have not yet wholly eradicated. 

Having now shown, as we think, that the first inhabitants of 
this country were Celts and their language Celtic, we must neces- 
sarily refer to this language for the origin of the word " Brechin;" 
but, ere doing so, it may assist us in arriving at a satisfactory solution 
of the question that we glance at the topography of this district. 

The valley extending from Montrose to Brechin bears evident 
traces of its having been at one period covered with the ocean. 
The alluvial soil, slightly mingled with boulders rounded by the 
action of water, demonstrate that this carse must have been 
produced by a process of depositation or silting^ as it is usually 
termed, — a process still in operation, and which has contracted 
the Montrose basin within the memory of men still living. Nor 
let it be urged that the period of time intervening between the 
first arrival of human beings on our shores, and the origin of 
written history was too limited to produce so great a change ; a 
much greater change has taken place during the last thirty 
centuries at the embouchui*e of the Nile, and other rivers. Besides, 
we infer fiom the immense forests which once abounded in this 



country, which cannot now be produced, and the great quantity of 
moss, that the internal heat of this part of the globe must then 
have been greater than now ; that owing to these forests a larger 
quantity of rain must have fallen, and thus given greater strength, 
volume, and velocity to the South Esk, and the rills which 
disembogue into it, whereby the deposit must have accumulated 
in a greater ratio than it has done since the cessation of these 
causes. We have thus no data whereby to approximate the length 
of time the ocean has occupied in receding to Old Montrose* 
The termination of the ocean we infer from the natural barrier 
there subsisting, to have been about Brechin Castle, the site of 
which would have been probably selected by the first settlers as a 
stronghold against the attacks of wild beasts, and in the vicinity 
of which, numerous habitations of men would ultimately arise. 

The Celtic word '*Braigh" signifies end, and "Cuan" the 
ocean, and the adjcction and substantive being conjoined are 
pronounced Braighchuain, or the end of the ocean. This we feel 
confident is the true origin of the word Brechin. The corruption 
of the word must have taken place when the Scandinavians, a 
branch of the blue-eyed and fair-haired Teutonic race arriving 
from the north of Europe gradually drove the Celts beyond the 
Grampians, and seized on the coast-lands. It is the descendants 
of these Scandinavians, with a slight admixture of Celts and 
Saxons, who now inhabit the lowlands of Forfarshire, and who, 
unable to imitate or pronounce the harsh guttural tones of the 
Celtic, pronounce the word Brechin as they now do. 



The Episcopal See of Brechin was founded and endowed by Ring 
David I. about 1150. — VidCy "An Historical Catalogue of the 
Scottish Bishops by the Right Reverend Robert Keith," edition 
1824, edited by Dr Russel of Leith, page 156. See also " History 
of the Bishops of Brechin," contained in a manuscript history of 


the Scottish bishops, in the Pamuure charter-room, page 103. 
See likeT^ise " The History of the Church of Scotland/' by Arch- 
bishop John Spotswood, edition 1655, page 108, who states the 
bishoprick of " Brichen " to have been founded about 1140. See 
farther, "Eegistrum Episcopatus Brechinensis," in two quarto 
volumes, printed in 1856, being a second contribution by the late 
Patrick Chalmers, Esq., of Aldbar, to the Bannatyne Club, and in 
which, besides a full copy of the register, a number of charters 
connected with the church of Brechin, are printed from the 
charter-room of Brechin, from the cartulary of Arbroath, and 
from various private cartularies, Mr Chalmers's work is quoted 
as R £. B. ; and see also the preface by Cosmo Innes, Esq., to 
Mr Chalmers's cartulary, quoted as " Innes Preface." And finally, 
see in confirmation^ "Vetera Monumenta Hibemorum et Scot- 
orum Historiam lUustrantia, Quae ex Vaticani, Neapolis ac Flor- 
entise Tabularijs Depromsit et Ordine Chronologico Disposuit, 
Augustinus Theiner, Presbyter Congregationis Oratorij Collegij 
Theologorum Archigymnasij Romani, Academicae Pontificse Ar- 
chseologise, &c., &c. — ^Romse Typis Yaticanis 1864." — Quoted as 

1. T. is the initial letter of the name of the first bishop, 1155. 
Eeitb, page 156. We have considerable doubts if there is not 
some mistake of dates, and whether Keith's Bishop T. of 1155 is 
not Turpin of 1178 ; the more especially as Gregory {vide No. 6) 
mentions all his other predecessors except this T. However, on 
the dicta of Keith, and authorities referred to by him, we have 
placed T. as first bishop of Brechin. 

2. Sampson, 1 157. — " Though he be not found designed bishop 
of this see in King David's time, yet he is bishop here in the 
time of King Malcolm IV. ; and by a modest enough computation 
he mi<:]rht have been the first bishop preferred to the see, even by 
good King David himself. He, Sampson, Episcopus Brechinensis, 
is a witness to the charters of King Malcolm IV. to the priory of 
St Andrews before the year 1158." Panmure manuscript, page 
103. The register of St Andrews makes Bishop Samsone witness 
to various deeds by King Malcolm and others, after 1159, see 
pages 128, et seq. His name is written Sansane in a charter in 
the archives of King's College, Aberdeen. Keith, page 560. 


3. TURPIN, 1178. — "When he was invested in the bishoprick, 
he gave to the monks of St Thomas, of Arbroath, the churches of 
Old Montrose and Carcaryn, pro salute animae suae." Panmure 
MS., page 103. Keith, page 157. Mr Chalmers, in his R. E B., 
vol ii., prints, on page 255, a charter by this bishop to these 
monks of the " ecclesiara de veteri Munros;" on page 256, a 
charter of the " ecclesiam de Cateryn ;" and on page 258, a grant 
ot five churches, " Deo et ecclesie sancti Thome Martiris de Aber- 
brothoc et Monachis ibidem." Turpin is mentioned in various 
charters granted by his successors. There is a confirmation 
granted by Turpin to the Abbey of Arbroath, signed before " Hiis 
tertibus Hugone Episcopo Sancti Andree : Bricio Priore Kele- 
deorum de Brechin^ &c., R. E. B., vol ii., page 269 ; and a charter 
granted by hira to the abbey of Arbroath of a piece of land in 
Stracathro, signed before " Bricio Priore de Brechin, Gillefali 
Kelde, Bricio Capellano, Mathalan Kelde, Makbeth Maywen." 
R. E. B., page 270. 

4. Radulphus, 1202. — " He confirmed to the abbey of Coupar 
the grants of his predecessor, Turpin, in which deed, William de 
Bosco, who was chancellor both to King William and his son, 
Alexander II., is a witness. He died anno 1218." Keith, page 
158. Panmure MS., page 104. " Randulfo electo de Brechin," 
along with Matthew, Bishop of Aberdeen, who died in 1199, is 
witness to an agreement between the canons and culdees of St 
Andrews. See R. E. B. in confirmation, grant by this bishop to 
the Abbey of Arbroath of the church of Old Montrose, Vol. ii., 
page 255 ; and on page 257 a grant by the bishop to the same 
abbey of the church of " Dunnechtyn," while other charters by 
the same bishop are enumerated, pages 258 to 270. Bishop 
Randulph is also alluded to in charters granted by l^s successors. 

5. Hugo, 1218. — He is said to have been contemporary with 
Robert, elect of Ross, regarding whose own incumbency there are 
considerable doubts. Hugo is also said to have been cotemporary 
with Adam, Bishop of Caithness, who died 1222. Keith, page 
J 58, 206. The Panmure MS. takes no notice either of this Hugo 
or of Robert Mar, whom the chronicles of Aberbrothick, according 
to Keith, state to have been bishop of Brechin in 1219. Hugo, 
according to Keith's version of the chronicles of Melrose, " obijt 

APPENDIX, . 301 

Episcopus Brechinen, anno 1218, cui successit Gregorius arch- 
deaconns ejusdem episcopatus/' and Gregory notices Hugo amongst 
his predecessors. Hence, we infer that Hugo was only a short 
time incumbent, and that Robert had never actually been conse- 
crated bishop. In the B. E. B. Bishop Hugh is mentioned, vol ii. 
pages 256, 259, 261, 270, and 271, in various grants by him to 
the abbey of Arbroath, the last deed, as well as some others, being 
witnessed by " Mallebryd Priore Eeledeorum nostrorum." Bishop 
Hugh is also mentioned in charters by his successors. 

6. Gregory, 1219. — "How long he sate, or when he died, I 
have not been able to discover." PanmureMS., page 104. " He 
makes mention of Turpin, Radulphus, and Hugo, his.predecessors." 
Keith, page 158. "He was bishop sometime after the thirty- 
second year of King Alexander II," or 1246 ; Nisbet's Heraldry, 
appendix, page 247. He, Turpin, Ralph, and Hugh, his prede- 
cessors, are all mentioned in an ordinance by his successor, Albin, 
R. E. B. il 264. He is farther alluded to, pages 256, 260, 2Y0, 
and 271, and the Pope's mandate for his election is given, page 
387, R E. B. ii. This mandate is given by Theiner, page 8. 

Gilbert, 1247. — " From the authority of the Chronicles of 
Melrose, died in the 1249." Panmure MS., page 104. 
Keith, page 159. 

Robert, 1249. — ^Archdeacon of Brechin,. succeeded Gilbert, 
*' but died soon after." Panmure MS., page 104, 

The Melrose Chronicle is the only authority for these two 
bishops, and from what is stated after, under the head of 
Albin, it is pretty plain that the Melrose Chronicle is in 
error. We therefore omit both Gilbert and Robert from 
our list. 

7. Albin, 1247. — He '* is one of the judges in a solemn arbi- 
tration betwixt the convent of Arbroath and Sir Peter de Maulia, 
Lord of Panmure, and Christiana de Valonijs, Lady Panmure, his 
wife, about the lands of Brakis and Bothmemock, lying in the 
lordship of Panmure, anno 1254. The bishop died in the 1269." 
Panmure MS., page 104. '' He would appear to have been bishop 
here within the rein of King Alexander III., (1249-85,) since 
he is witness to William of Brechin, bis foundation of the ' Maison 
de Dieu' in Brechin for the souls of William and Alexander, kings 


of Scotland." Keith, page 159. This charter is printed by Mr 
Chalmers in his B. E. B., vol i. page 4. Spotswood says, page 
108, " Urwardus, or Edwardus, lived about the year 1260, a monk 
at first at Couper in Angus, a man very zealous in his calling ; for 
it is testified of him, that he went on foot through the whole king- 
dom with one Eustathius, abbot of Aberbrothock, preaching the 
gospel wheresoever he came. Albinus, after him, was bishop 
some few years.'* On the margin, however, Spotswood remarks, 
'* Since the writing of this catalogue I have found four bishops 
succeeding Edwardus, one after another, Turpinus, Bodolphus, 
Hugo, and Gregorius, but how long they sate bishops I cannot 
say." Spotswood gives no authority for his Urwardus, nor can 
we find his name in any document whatever connected with the 
see of Brechin at this period. Mr Chalmers prints, B. R B., vol. 
ii. page 262, an agreement between Bishop Albin and his chapter 
and the abbot and monks of Arbroath, and an ordinance by Bishop 
Albinus, following thereupon, both dated, " Millesimo ducentesimo 
quadragesimo octavo, mense Septembris, decimo Ealendarum Octo- 
bris." In the latter of these documents the bishop enumerates his 
predecessors, Turpin, Ralph, Hugh, and Gregory ; so it admits of 
grave doubts whether Gilbert or Robert were ever in the see of 
Brechin. This doubt is strengthened by a bull of Pope Innocent 
IV., (R. E. B., ii. 388,) dated at Lyons in the fourth year of the 
Pope's consecration, 1247, directing inquiry into the life and 
learning of Albinus, preceptor of the church of Brechin, who had 
been elected bishop by the canons of that see, but who was bom 
of unmarried parents, and directing Albinus, notwithstanding, to 
be installed bishop if found worthy. Theiner, page 48, gives the 
dispensation for Albinus's illegitimacy. 

8. WiLUAM DE KiLCONCATH, 1269.— " Whom the Chronicle of 
Melross calls Lator Fratrum Predicatorum de Perth. Bishop 
Spotswood says he was Dean of Brechin, but from what authority 
I know not. He says also this prelate died going to Rome in 
the year 1275." Panmure MS., page 105. Spotswood, page 108. 
Kilconcath was alive in 1 276, and is cited as testifjdng the authen- 
ticity of a bull of Innocent III., in Lyon's " History of St 
Andrew's," vol ii. page 277. Likely, Kilconcath is the William 
whom Thiener, page 106, makes bishop here in 1275. Thiener, 


page 109, gives, "Computus decimsa crucis in regno Scotise 
coUecte," and page 112, " CoUectio decime in Episcopatu Breky- 
nensi pro primo anno." ** Summa 48, lib. 13, soL 10 den. ob." 
This is in 1275. 

9. Edward, 1276. — Spotswood is inclined to place this bishop 
after Sampson, but Eeith introduces him after William de Kil- 
concath, " merely," he says, " that I may not omit him altogether,*' 
page 160. The Panmure MS. omits Edward, and Robert to be 
just noticed, and thus leaves a hiatus of 15 years. We, therefore, 
think Keith's hypothesis the correct one, and adopt Edward as the 
ninth bishop of Brechin, and place him in 1276, for the reason 
given by Mr Lyon, as above. 

RoBEBT, 1284. — " Robert, formerly archdeacon of this see, was 
bishop thereof in the year 1284." Keith, page 160. We 
can find no trace of such a bishop. 

10. William, 1286-1290.— "Was one of the Scotch clergy 
who addressed King Edward of England, that the prince, his son, 
might marry Margaret, the young Queen of Scotland, whereby the 
two crowns might be unite into one monarchy." Panmure MS., 
page 105. Keith, page 160. Mr Innes, in his preface to Mr 
Chalmers's "Registrum," says, page 8, "William, Bishop of Brechin, 
granted an indulgence at Durham, on 16th August 1286, and 
William was bishop in 1290 ; * Rites of Durham,' page 135." In 
1286, the States of Scotland sent the Bishop of Brechin, the 
Abbot of Jedburgh, and Geoffrey de Mowbray, as ambassadors to 
Edward, requesting his advice and mediation towards composing 
the troubles of the kingdom which had arisen during the minority 
of Margaret, the maiden of Norway, the granddaughter of 
Alexander III. Thiener, page 149, makes William bishop here 
in 1289. 

11. Nicholas, 1295. — ^No trace of him is tabe found amongst 
the Records of Brechin ; but Theiner, page 160, gives a bull by 
Pope Boniface, confirming Nicholas as bishop in the see of 
Brechin, dated, "vii. KaL Februarij Pontificatus nostri anno 
secundo," 1296. This Pope Boniface proclaimed that "God had 
set him over kings and kingdoms," imprisoned his predecessor 
Celestine V., and laid France and Denmark under interdict. 

12. John ds Kinninbctjnd, 1298-1304. — "Of an ancient 


family of that name and designation in the shire of Fife was 
bishop here 2 2d October 1304. He is bishop before the year 
1309, and in the year 1309 he is one of the bishops who, solemnly 
under their seals, recognise King Robert Brace's title to the crown 
of Scotland. In the year 1311, he appends his seal, together with 
Nicholas, Bishop of Dunblane, to a solemn agreement betwixt the 
Abbots of Cambuskenneth and Coupar. He is bishop here in the 
year 1313, also the same person is bishop anno 1321, likewise in 
the 7th and 16th years of Robert I., and anno 1323, and he is 
witness to King Robert's confirmation of the monastery of Aber- 
brothock/' Keith, page 160. Panmure MS., page 105. He is a 
party to an agreement with the monastery of Arbroath in 1304. 
R. E. B., vol. ii.' page 266. The name is sometimes written 
KinninmuntA. He obtained from King Robert, in 1310, a charter 
relieving the Church property of all secular services, R. E. B., ii. 4. 
Thiener, page 164, gives a confirmation by Pope Boniface VIH. of 
the election of Bishop John in 1298. 

13. Adam, 1328. — "Adam is bishop here anno 1329. Adam 
was bishop here anno 1338. He is witness to King David's con- 
firmation of the monastery of Arbroath, anno reg. 13, item anno 
reg. 15, i.e., anno domini 1342 and 4. Adam, Bishop of Brechin, 
is witness, together with ' David de Barclay, Malcolmo de Ram- 
say, Vice-comite de Angus, Joanne de Straton, Walter© de 
AUardes.' Now, this David Barclay seems to have been the last 
laird of Brechin, who was murthered in the year 1348. Bishop 
Adam was employed in several embassies into England, towards 
the facilitating of King David's redemption, who had been taken 
prisoner at the unfortunate battle of Durham, anno 1346. 
Edward seems to have treated this bishop with more favour 
than he showed to the other ambassadors, as a proof of which 
we may mention that he bore his expenses when in England. 
Rot. Scot., 20 : Mar. 16., Ed. III. The same prelate appears 
to have been an agent in the dark negotiations of the de- 
generate David II. with Edward III. See particularly, Rot 
Scotise, 26th Jul. 34, ed. iiL" Keith, page 161. David de Barclay, 
alluded to by Keith, must have been the first Barclay of Brechin, 
as he left a son who was alive in 1364 ; " He died in, or about the 
year 1350." Panmure MS., page 106. There is some confusion 


regarding this bishop, which is by no means cleared up by the 
charter, dated in 1360, referred to by Dr Russell, (page 561,) said 
to have been granted by David II. to Bishop Leuchars ; but Mr 
Innes, in his preface to the R. K B., (page viii,) says, '' By a clerical 
error in our register a precept of David II., in the 3 1st year of 
his reign, (1359,) is made to be directed to Adam, instead of 
Patrick, Bishop of Brechin, Chancellor, and on that authority 
Spottiswoode has erroneously stated that Adam was Chancellor of 
Scotland." Mr Chalmers prints a charter granted by this bishop 
in 1348. R. E. B. i., 10. There is, R. K B., ii. 389, a bull by 
Pope John, dated 31st October 1328, apparently confirming 
Bishop Adam in the see, but in reality claiming the right to 
nominate the bishop, and the same Pope by subsequent documents 
claims the same right in regard to the canons. Theiner, page 
242, shows Bishop Adam to have been appointed in 1328 by this 
Pope John XXII. without an election of the chapter. 

14. Philip, 1350.— He was bishop on 16th March 1350, for 
he of that date granted a charter to Heliscus Faucunur of certain 
subjects in Montrose, and this deed is No. 6 of the documents in 
the Brechin charter-chest, and a beautifully written little deed it 
is. Mr Chalmers gives a fac-simile of the charter, R. E. B., ii. 6. 
"Philip is in this see, 1351." Keith, page 162. Pope Clement 
VI. following up the practice of Pope John just alluded to, by a 
bull, dated 20th February 1350, of new appointed Philip to the 
office of bishop, R R B., u. 393. Theiner notices this, page 292. 
Bishop Philip is witness,* 1353, to a charter by David II. to 
Alexander Berkley of Wester Mathers. Spalding Miscellany, 
Vol. V. pp. 248, 249. 

15. Patrick db Leuchabs, 1354. — " Descended of an ancient 

family in the shire of Fife, had been rector of Tinningham in 

East Lothian, (charta penes dominum de Cardross nunc comitem 

de Buchan,) was invested in the see of Brechin anno 1354, and 

some time after was made Lord High Chancellor of the kingdom. 

He was also much employed in treating about the redemption of 

King David II., and in adjusting the several payments of his 

ransom. He was both bishop and chancellor, anno reg. 29, i.e., 

anno domini 1358, Nov. 12, U. Nov. 18, also anno reg. 30. 

He was bishop and chancellor in the thirty-first and thirty-fourth 



years of David II. He was chancellor anno 1360, bishop and 
chancellor anno 1362. He was bishop anno 28 and 36, David 
II., and bishop and chancellor July 4, anno reg. 39, and bishop 
anno 40. In the year 1370, he resigned his office of chancellor, 
at least it is certain that he had made this resignation some time 
before the death of King David. He is bishop in the first, second, 
and third years of King Sobert II., anno reg. 3, and he was 
bishop, and present in parliament 1373." Keith, page 162. Tytler's 
Hist, of Scotland, vol ii. pp. 84, 95. " Soon after Bishop Leachars'a 
advancement, he was promoted to be Lord High Chancellor of Scot- 
land, and is so designed in a confirmation to him by K. David of 
Waltenis de Maulia, dominus de Panmnre, charter of his lands of 
Cairncorthy, and chaplanary of Boath to the Episcopal see of 
Brechin, 20th Nov. 1360, which office he held for the space of 
sixteen years, till the 1370, he resigned the great seall, which was, 
by King David II., given to Dr John Garrick, chanon of Glasgow, 
and keeper of the privy seal, and the bishop died soon thereafter, 
though he had the happiness before his death to see King Bobert 
II. peaceably settled on the throne ; his death happened about 
the year 1375. In the 1374 he is then alive; the bishop is 
witness to a resignation of lands by Sir Malcolm Fleming to 
the Earl of Douglas.'' Panmure MS., page 106. There is a 
declaration by Bishop Leuchars regarding the number and 
rights of the benefices of the church of Brechin, dated in 
1372. B. E. B., i. 19. Bishop Patrick is witness to a charter 
by David II., in 1360, to the abbey of Dunfermline, and 
" Patricio Epo Brechinen, cancellario nostro," is witness to a 
charter by David II. to the burgh of Inverness, dated at Perth, 
Sd March "anno regni nostri quadragesimo." Pope Clement, 
who is described as " a learned prelate, a generous prince, and 
amiable man," but who, notwithstanding seems to have been an 
ambitious man, by a bull, dated 17th Nov. 1352, (quoted R. E. B., 
iL 894, and noticed by Theiner, page 299,) adopts, with Bishop 
Leuchars, the very same course he had pursued with his prede- 
cessor. Bishop Philip, no doubt thereby strengthening the power 
of the Church of Rome. Leuchars was one of the committee of 
parliament, appointed in 1369, to deliberate and give judgment 
upon all such judicial questions and complaints as necessarily 


came before parliament. Tytler's History of Scotland, vol ii. 
page 155. And the Bishop was indeed an active politician during 
the whole reign of David II. Ty tier passim. 

16. Stephbk, 1375. — " To Bishop Leuchars succeeded Stephen, 
archdean of Brechin, who sate bishop of this see anno 1384^ and 
he discharged the office of his function till his death in 1401." 
Panmure MS., page 106. At request of Sir David Lindsay of 
Glenesk, this bishop, on 23d February 1384, erected the church 
of Lethnot into a prebendary, with power to the prebend thereof 
to be a canon of the cathedral church of Brechin, and to have a stall 
in the choir, and a place in the chapter. R. E. B., i. 21, et ii. 8. 
In the Spalding Miscellany, voL v. page 319, there is an abstract 
of a charter before 1399 by Keith, Earl Marischall, to William 
Lyndesey, in which Stephen, Bishop of Brechin, is a witness. 

17. Walteb Forrester, 1401. — "Of the family of Cardin in 
Stirlingshire, was first a canon of the church of Aberdeen ; next 
was made Secretary of State, and then promoted to the see of 
Brechin, in which he was a bishop as early as the year 1401. He 
was bishop here anno 1405 and 1408. He was bishop anno 1413, 
it anno 8vo. 'Boberti Qubem.' As also 15th Januarij 1415.*' 
Keith, page 163. On 9th Nov. 1409, this bishop obtained 
from Sir John Erskine of Dun a grant of certain services payable 
by the church of Brechin to him, for the lands of Ecclesjohn, now 
called Langley Park. Cartulary of Brechin, No. 24, ratified by 
the Duke of Albany in 1410. R E. B., i. 32. There is a pre- 
sentation addressed to this bishop by the Earl of Crawford, by 
which the earl requests the bishop to examine his beloved cousin, 
Andrew de Ogilvy, clerk of the diocese of Dunkeld, as to his 
knowledge and morals, and thereafter to admit him to the pre- 
bendary of Lethnot, and to a stall in the cathedral church of 
Brechin, 6th December 1410. R E. B., L 29. On 30th June 
1413, Bishop Forrester obtained a precept from Bobert, Duke of 
Albany, addressed to the Sheriff of Kincardineshire, for the en- 
forcement of certain "wards, reliefs and marriages, fines and 
escheats," from that county ; and this precept is enforced by sub- 
sequent similar writings down to 1417. R E. B., i 35, et seq. 
He assisted at a general council of the clergy held at Perth, 16th 
July 1420. R E. B., L 38. Dr Kussell says, page 561, " He 


occurs, 16th July 1420, in Reg. Eccl. Brechin, f. Ixii." "How 
long he sate, or when his death happened no authority has occurred 
to me that makes it clear." Panmure MS., page 107. Mr Chal- 
mers, R. E. B., ii. page 273, prints, from the Findowry charter- 
room, a charter by this bishop to " Willelmo Lam " of some pro- 
perty in Brechin, dated 10th May 1420, "et consecrationis nostre 
anno decimo." 

G., 1424. — "Dominus G. is Bishop of Brechin in the year 
1424, but what name this initial letter stands for, I do not 
pretend to say." Keith, page 163. There is no trace of any 
such bishop amongst the papers belonging to the burgh of 
Brechin, nor does the Panmure MS. notice him, neither 
does Spotswood. The Right Reverend Alexander Penrose 
Forbes, D.C.L., present Bishop of Brechin, who has kindly 
revised this list, says, " G. is certainly. Gualterus, and means 
Walter Forrester.* We are quite of his opinion. 
18. John de Caenoth, 1429. — He " was bishop of this see when 
he accompanied Princess Margaret, daughter of King James I., 
into France, in order to be espoused to Lewis XL, then dauphin of 
that kingdom, anno 1435. John is bishop here anno 1449. John, 
bishop of this see, was sent into England, on an embassy with 
divers others, anno 1450. He is also mentioned April 18, 1451." 
Keith, page 163. The Cartulary of Brechin, No. 40, R E. B., ii. 
23, proves that John was bishop of this see on 4th September 
1429. On 20th October of that year Walter, Palatine of Strath- 
earn, with consent of .John, Bishop of Brechin, confirms to the 
chapter of Brechin the right of patronage of the parish of Cortachie, 
R. E. B., i. 46, et ii. 24, 28. " He is styled conservator privilegi- 
orum ecclesie Scoticane,'' says Dr Russel, page 561. The name 
of John Crannoch, Bishop of Brechin, occurs in a great variety of 
papers, connected with the burgh, down to the 17th November 
1453. Brechin Cartulary No. 27. He regulates the payment to 
be made by each official for the maintenance of the vestments in 
1435. R. E. B., ii 40. He died August 1456, vide chronicles 
of King James II. Dr Russel says, '' The following is an entry 
under the year 1456 in the brief chronicle of the reign of Kini; 
James II. at Auchinleck. Itm yt samyn zer and moneth 
(August) decessit i. Brechyne mast. Jhone Crenok, Bischop of 


Brechjme, yt was callit a gud actif man and all his tyme wele 

19. George Shbbswood, 1454. — " Chancellour of Dunkeld 

and secretarie to King James II. This prelate was a son of 

Sherswood of Bettshiell, in Berwickshire ; being bred a churchman, 

his first station ia the Chnrch was rector of Cultar, anno 1449. 

JMr Sherswood being a learned and mettled man, King James 

made him first one of his clerks, and after that his secretarie. In 

the 1453 he was made chancellour of Dunkeld, and in the 1454 

was sent upon an embassy to England ; soon after his return he 

was promoted to be chancellour of Scotland, in the 1455, (? 1458,) 

and he held the office till the death of the king in 1460. How 

long Bishop Sherswood lived thereafter, the records of the see 

being defective, I cannot be positive.^' Panmure MS. page 108. 

Noticed by Keith, page 164 " In his time was the church of Fun- 

aven made one of the chapter." Spotswood, page 108. This scarce 

seems correct ; see Bishop Balfour, No. 24 Bishop Sherswood's 

name only occurs once in the Cartulary of Brechin, on 19th April 

1458, No. 128. Dr Bussel says, page 562, " George, bishop of 

Brechin, chancellor of Scotland, occurs 19tb April 1448, in reg. 

eccL Brechin, f. 99." The learned doctor is ten years wrong here, 

for the charter referred to above is printed, R. K B., i. page 184, 

and the date is clearly 1458. There is also an instrument taken 

in presence of " Johannes de Sehoriswod, pater germanus, Gkorgij 

Episcopi Brechinensis Cancellarij Scotie et Magister David de 

Guthrye de Kincaldrum Camerarij predict Domini Episcopi," and 

dated 28th January 1459, R E. B., i. 188. He is mentioned as 

" Georgio Episcopo Brechinensis Cancellario Scotie," in 1457^ in 

a process regarding the earldom of Mar. Spalding Miscellany, 

vol V. pages 264-5. It is very evident that Keith is wrong when 

he introduces Bobert as Bishop of Brechin in 1456, for then there 

was no room for Bishop Sherswood, regarding whose consecration 

there can be no doubt. Keith, speaking of this Bishop Robert, 

8&ys> pftge 1(>3> " ^ ^'^ is ^'^^ ^ ^^y former list of the bishops of 

this see, I can say no more of him, but that he might have died 

this year, and his successor been in the see in the course of the 

same.'' But it would appear this could not be, for Sherswood 

was appointed coadjutor in 1448, while Carnock was alive. Bei 


sides, there is no mention of this Bishop Robert in the Cartulary 
of Brechin, nor does the Panmure MS. take any notice of him. 
Spotswood also omits him. Robert de Crannoch, chanter of 
Brechin, on 9th October 1453, has an instrument in his favour, 
most beautifully written. No. 125 Brechin Cartulary ; R K B., ii. 
94, and is witness to an obligation, granted by the chaplains of 
the cathedral church of Brechin to Robert Hill on 3d Nov. 1453 ; 
No. 126 of Brechin Cartulary, E. E. B., ii. 195. Could Sir Robert 
Crannoch be the person whom Keith calls Bishop Robert ? Mr 
Chalmers, R. E. B., ii. 273-5, prints from the Findowry Cartu- 
lary two charters by Bishop George, dated, the first in 1457, the 
second in 1461, '' et consecrationes nostre anno septimo,'' proving 
Bishop Sberswood to have been consecrated in 1454 ; and page 
383, he gives an agreement with the town council of Montrose, 
dated 13th May 1462, signed, "Georgius Brechinen," proving 
Sherswood to have been then in the see. 

20. Patrick Graham, 1462. — He was son to Lord Graliam, 
by Lady Mary Stewart, daughter to King Robert III., and hence 
he was nephew to King James I. Keith, page 1 64. Panmure 
MS., page 108. This remarkable lady gave birth to James Kennedy 
who was the last Bishop of St Andrews, and to Patrick Graham, 
who, in 1466, was made the first ^rcA-bishop of that diocese. 
Lady Mary Stewart was four times married : — First, to the Earl 
of Angus, by whom she had two sons, William and George 
Douglas, who successively became Earls of Angus. Second, to Sir 
James Kennedy of Dunmure, by whom she had two sons, James, 
the last Bishop of St Andrews ; and Gilbert, afterwards created 
Lord Kennedy, the ancestor of the Marquis of Ailsa. Third, to 
Lord Graham of Dundresmore, by whom she had two sons, James 
Graham, the first Lord of Fintray; and Patrick Graham, the 
Bishop of Brechin and Archbishop of St Andrews. And fourth, to 
Sir William Edmiston of CuUoden. There is in the Cartulary of 
Brechin a precept addressed to Bishop Graham by King James 
III., dated 2d January 1463, printed by Mr Chalmers, R E. B., 
ii. 100, in which his Majesty enjoins the bishop to revoke the 
grants of lands improperly made by his predecessors. Bishop 
Graham was translated to the see of St Andrews in 1466, and, as 
already said, wa3 the first ^rcA-bishop of that diocese, having 


procured from the Pope, Siztus the Fourth, a bull erecting the 
see of St Andrews into an archbishopric, and enjoining the 
twelve bishops of Scotland to be subject to that see in all time 
coming, an honour which involved Grahajn in di£ScuIties pecuniary 
and political He died in 1479, in Lochleven Castle, a prisoner. 
Buchanan, who is no ways favourable to the Bomish clergy, gives 
a long account of the persecutions to which Graham was subjected 
by the King, jealous of his appointment by the Pope, to the office 
of legate for Scotland, and by the clergy who feared his integrity 
and strictness, and Buchanan winds up by saying, "Thus perished 
a man, blameless in his life, and in learning and courage inferior 
to none of his cotemporaries." B. 12, § 333-335. 

21. John Balfour, 1466. — "John, Bishop of Brechin, chan- 
cellor, occurs 6th September, a. r. Jaa IIL, 21 Reg, Eccl. Brechin, 
f. liii., and previously John is mentioned as Bishop of Brechin, 
17th February 1466-7, i&u2. £ cxxii" Sussel, page 562. He 
** was bishop of this see, anno 1476, and assisted in the consecra- 
tion of Bishop Livingstone of Dunkeld. He was bishop in the 
year 1470, and John was also bishop in the year 1501." Keith, 
page 164. Panmure MS., page 108. Amongst the records of 
Brechin, there is a charter, dated 13th September 1474, by which 
John, Bishop of Brechin, with consent of David, Earl of Crawford, 
patron of the church of Finhaven, erects that parish church into a 
prebend of Brechin. R E. B., i. 196. There is also amongst 
these records a decree of the Lords of Council and Session, 30th 
June 1477, at the instance of John, Bishop of Brechin, against 
George, Earl of Rothes, for the teind-duty of the earl's lands in 
the Meama R E. B., i. 199 e^ aeg. ^ iL 276. While yet only 
elect, Pope Paul ii., in 1465, granted Balfour a dispensation to 
hold in commendam, along with his bishopric, the parish 
church of Conveth, now Laurencekirk. R E. B. ii. 413. 
About 1491, Glasgow was erected into an archbishopric, and 
then Dunkeld, Dunblane, Brechin, Aberdeen, Moray, Boss, Caith- 
ness, and Orkney, were made subject to St Andrews ; while Gallo- 
way, Aigyle, and the Isles, were put under the jurisdiction of 
Glasgow; St Andrews still retaining the primacy. Lyon's 
History of St Andrews, voL i. pages 241, 242. 

22. William Meldbum, 1494-1500.— Keith says, "Tfater 


Meldrum, at what time he came to be bishop, or how long he sat 
in this see, does not as yet appear by any proper voucher that 1 
have chanced to meet with. The chronology, however, rather 
requires that some person should be in this see between John 
Balfour and the next bishop," page 165. Dr Russel says, 
" William, anno 1511, omitted by Keith," page 561 ; and he adds, 
page 562, " William, Bishop of Brechin, previously occurs, viz., 6th 
May, anno 1500, and 29th June 1505, in Reg. Ec. Brechin, f. 3dv., 
and f. xlvi." "jjhe Panmure MS. remarks, page 108, " William 
Meldrum ; how long he lived bishop does not appear." Amongst 
the Brechin papers there is an obligation by Gaspar Boncian, 
merchant in Florence, dated at Antwerp, 4th June l^SS, to the 
chapter of the cathedral church of Brechin, by which he obliges 
"himself, in consideration of the sum of 200 ducats of Flanders, 
to proceed to the Court of Rome for the purpose of obtaining two 
bulls expede by the Pope, relating to the appointment of Sir 
William Meldrum, Vicar of Brechin, to the see of Brechin, in the 
event of the resignation or decease of John, now bishop thereof." 
R. E. B., ii. J 24. There is also a procuratory extant, dated 6th 
October 1490, but altered by interlineations to 21st March 1495, 
R. E. B., ii. 134, by William, Bishop of Brechin, empowering Sir 
Robert Keith, professor of theology, and others, to compear before 
Pope Alexander VI. at Rome, and to present to him an applica- 
tion in name of the bishop, in order to obtain his confirmation in 
the see. Subsequently there are various documents in name of 
Bishop William; in 1497, regarding a dispute with John Demp- 
ster of Ouch terl ess ; in 1500, anent a controversy with the Laird 
of Pitarro; in 1505, in a charter of lands to the Church by the 
Duchess of Montrose ; in 1506, 1507, and 1508, in several deeds ; 
and finally, in 1512, in a charter by Gilbert Strachan, of certain 
lands to the Church, *' for the safety (or good estate) of the souls of 
the right reverend Lord, Lord Stewart, late Archbishop of St 
Andrews, and also of Lord William, present bishop of Brechin," 
&c. R E. B., i. 218, et seq., ii 131, et seq., item 277. There 
can, consequently, be no doubt that William, and not Walter, 
was bishop during this period. In confirmation of all this, it may 
be remarked that Mr Chalmers prints, from the Findowry charter- 
chest, two charters by William, Bishop of Brechin, one in 1 500 


and the other in 1510, R. E. B., ii. 277-8 ; from the Dun charter- 
chest, an assedation by the same bishop, dated in 1509, page 
304 ; from the Kinnaird charter-room, a deed by Bishop William 
in 1512, " et nostre consecrationis anno xxiiij®/' page 298 ; and 
from the Register of the Privy Seal, page 385, a discharge granted 
by the same bishop, 30th May 1511 ; and again from the Carres- 
ton charter-chest in 1552, and the 31st year of his consecration. 
R E. B., il 310. See also discharge to the Laird of Arbuthnot, 
dated 31st May 1511. R. E. B., ii. 385. In the folio volume of 
** The Acts of the Lords of Council and Session in Civil Causes 
for 1494," we find, page 355, under date 4th July, that the Lords 
decreet that ''William Fresale of Durris does wrong in the deten- 
tion and withholding from a reverend father in God, William, 
Bishop of Brechin, of the second teind of his relief of the lands 
of Durris, owing to the said bishop and the kirk of Brechin." We 
therefore put Bishop Meldrum's election to the see of Brechin in 
1494, certain it had then occurred, if it had not taken place sooner. 
23. JoEK Hepbubk, 1517. — He was descended of the family 
of Bothwell, and was one of the bishops who recognised the Earl 
of Arran's right to the regency in 1543. He died in the month 
of August 1558. Keith, page 165. Panmure MS., 108. There 
are documents extant in the records of Brechin, in which this 
bishop's name is mentioned, from the 1518 to the 1556. R. E. B. 
iL 173, et seq. From the Findowry charter-chest, Mr Chalmers 
gives a charter by this bishop, granted, with consent of his chapter 
on 19th August 1547, "et consecrationis nostro anno vicesimo 
quarto/' R E. B., ii. 234, and from the Kinnaird charter-room, he 
gives a deed, dated 1556, "et nostre consecrationis anno xxx** 
tertio," R E. B., ii. 300. This bishop therefore had been conse- 
crated in 1523. From the Dun charter-chest, Mr Chalmers prints 
a deed in favour of Bishop John, dated in 1556, R E. B., ii. 304 ; 
and from the Careston Cartulary, a charter, dated in 1552, R E. 
B. ii 316. He was one of the bishops who put his hand to the 
sentence against Patrick Hamilton in 1527. Spotswood, 63. 

Donald Campbell, 1558.—" Mr Donald Campbell, a son of 
the family of Argyle, was destined his successor by the 
court here, and, no doubt, was elected by the chapter ; and 
therefore Bishop Leslie says, that the Abbot of Coupar did 


succeede Bishop Hepburn of Brechin. But his election 
being cass'd at Eome, in regard Mr Campbell had re- 
nounced Popery and turned Protestant, he was so modest 
as never to use the title of bishop, but only Abbot of 
Coupar» and was one of the clergy who sate in the parlia- 
ment 1560, where the reformation of religion received the 
first legall sanction, and the Pope's authority was abolished; 
he died Lord* Privy Seall to Queen Mary in the end of the 
1562, whereupon the bishopric of Brechin was given by 
Queen Mary to a person who was much more acceptable 
to her Majesty than the other, by reason of his zeal for 
the Eoman Catholic religion/' Panmure MS., page 109. 
Keith, page 165. There is no trace of Campbell amongst 
the Brechin papers, nor does Mr Chalmers give any docu- 
ment bearing his name. 
21?. John Sinclair, 1563. — "Mr John Sinclair, Dean of Res- 
talrig, and a brother of the house of Eoslyn, being a person 
learned in the civil and canon law, he was made one of the Lords 
of the Sessione, and after that president of the Sessione, and he 
continued in his office till his death in Apryle 1565." Panmure 
MS., page 109. Keith, page 165. Buchanan reports Sinclair as 
one of those who advised Queen Mary to adopt extreme measures 
against the reformers, B. 17, § 7. Queen Mary and Damley were 
married by the Bishop of Brechin at the chapel-royal, Holyrood, 
on Sunday, 29th July 1565. It is said Bishop Sinclair was blind 
of one eye. Slaines MS. He is mentioned B. E. B., ii. 328. He 
died 9th April 1566, '' betwixt thre and foure houris in the morn- 
ing, in James Mosmanis hous in Frosteris Wynd, within Edin- 
burgh." Diurnal of Ocurrents, page 98. 


25. Alexander Campbell, 1566. — ''This gentleman was a 
younger brother of James Campbell of Arkinglass, who was 
comptroller of Scotland in the minority of King James VI. 
Being educated with a view to the Church before the Reformation, 
he was made provost of St Giles, in Edinburgh, anno 1554, upon 


the resignation of Eobert Cricbtou, Bishop of Dunkeld. Seeing 
how matters went at the time of the Reformation, be turned with 
the times, and became a Protestant By the recommendation of 
bis chief, the Earl of Argyle, he had a grant of the bishopric, 
with a power which, I believe, was never given to any bishop of 
the Christian Church but himself, at least, so far as my reading 
has led me, which was, 'cum potestate disponendi beneficium 
infra totum diocesin.' Mr Campbell, seeing Episcopacy near 
abolished after the Reformation, he made use of that power and 
faculty the Queen had invested him with, and accordingly alien- 
ated most part of the lands and titles of the bishopric to his 
patron, the Earl of Argyle, who had got him preferred to the 
benefice, reserving to himself and his successors scarce so much as 
was a moderate enough competency for a minister at Brechin. 
He long while discharged the office of particular pastor at Brechin, 
and kept the title of bishop, though he discharged no other part 
of Episcopal function than what belongs to an ordinary minister 
in the Church, save the title, till the 1572 Episcopacy was first 
restored. He sate in many parliaments on the spiritual side, even 
when few others did as a bishop, even till the time of his death, 
in the beginning of the 1606/' Panmure MS., pages 109, 110. 
Keith, page 166. The grant above referred to is given at length 
in R. R B., ii. 328. On page 332 of same work, there is the 
licence given to this bishop, 7th May 1567, to go abroad for seven 
years without any danger to his benefice, and he appears to have 
remained abroad for the time allowed him, for in 1573 his brother, 
Arkinglass, gives up a rental of the bishopric, the bishop " him- 
selff being in Geneva at the schuilis." R K B., ii. 428. There are 
amongst the records of Brechin charters granted by this bishop 
in January 1566, and down to the 1605, most of which prove 
that Bishop Campbell fully exercised the power of alienating pro- 
perty with which he was endowed. See also R. E. B., ii. 285-290. 
James VI., after the Act of Annexation of the Bishop's Tempor- 
alities to the Crown, granted those of Brechin to Campbell, R. E. 
B., ii. 374, who in 1603 made good his right against his Majesty's 
CoUector-General, R. E. B., ii. 291. His wife was Helen Clephan, 
and they acquired the land of Monboy from George Wishart in 
1583, R. E. B., ii. 292. Campbell is witness to a bond by the 


Earl of Athol and others to Captain Patrick Cranstoun and his 
spouse of 100 merks yearly, "for the gnde and thankful sernce 
done," " for the libertie and relief of our soverane, the King's Ma^ 
jesteis person/* 31st July 1578. Spalding Miscellany, vol. v. p. 203. 

26. Andrew Lamb, 1606-1610. — Minister at Burntisland, suc- 
ceeded in this see in 1606, and continued in it till the year 1619, 
when he was translated to Galloway on the death of Bishop Coupar. 
He was one of the three bishops who went by the orders of James 
I. into England, where he received Episcopal consecration on the 
20th October IGIO. Keith, page 167. Panniure MS., page 110. 
There is a charter by the 'precentor, with Bishop Andrew's consent, 
to the town council of Brechin in 1619. A board in the session- 
house, on wliich are recorded gifts to the church, bears, " 1615, 
Andrew, Bishop of Brechin, gifted the hearse before the pulpit " 
— a brass chandelier for holding candles, of very handsome work- 
manship. Mr Chalmers prints a charter granted by Bishop Lamb 
in 1608. E. E. B., ii. 293. Lamb was a member of the first 
parliament summoned by Regent Moray, 15th December 1567* 
Ty tier's History of Scotland, edition 1842, vol. vii. page 162. 

27. David Lindsay, 1619. — He was son to Colonel John 
Lindsay, a brother of the laird of Edzel, in Angusshire. He was 
minister at Dundee, from whence he was translated to the see of 
Brechin, and consecrated at St Andrews, 23d November 1619. 
" He appears by his writings remaining to have been a man of 
good learning. By reason of his book, called 'Resolutions for 
Kneeling at the Sacrament,* he became very- acceptable to the 
court, insomuch as King Charles the First was pleased to translate 
him to the bishopric of Edinbm^gh, upon Dr Forbes's death in 
1634, where he continued till the 1638." Panmure MS., page 
ill. "The fury of the mob was like to have fallen heavy on 
this prelate at the first reading of the liturgy in the High Church 
of Edinburgh, on Sunday the 23d July 1637. He was deposed 
and excommunicated by the Assembly in 1638, whereupon he 
withdrew into England, where he died during the following 
troubles." Keith, page 61. Amongst the records of Brechin 
there is one deed with this bishop's name, in 1623. R. E. B., ii 241. 

28. Thomas Sydserf, 1634. — "Thomas Sydserf, afterwards 
better known as Bishop of Galloway and Bishop of Orkney, was 


Bishop of Brechin in 1635, though omitted by Keith," — ^says Mr 
Innes in his preface to Mr Chalmers's Work, i 13, and he quotes 
Bishop Forbes's Funerals, edition 1845, page 226. Bishop Sydserf 
is not mentioned in any of the records of Brechin, nor would his 
incumbency in 1635 tally with Bishop Whiteford's consecration in 
September 1634, as stated in the Panmure MS. We have had it 
stated to us that Sydserf was bishop for a short time in 1 634 ; 
and Bishop Forbes is in possession of the Episcopal seal of Thomas, 
Bishop of Brechin* On these authorities we rank Thomas Sydserf 
as a bishop of Brechin. 

29. Waltbb Whitepobd, 1634.— According to Keith, page 167, 
he was son of James Whiteford of that ilk, by Margaret his wife, 
daughter of Sir James Somerville of Camnethan, and was first a 
minister at Monkland, and sub-dean of Glasgow, and then rector 
of Moffat, retaining his sub-deanery in commendam. The Pan- 
mure MS. gives the following account of this prelate : — " In the 
1620, he was inaugurate doctor of divinity, and last of all he was 
promoted to this see upon the recommendation of the secretarie. 
Sir William Alexander of Menstrie, Earl of Stirling, and was 
consecrate in September 1634, and he held the see till the 1638, 
when he was outed and excommunicated by the General Assembly 
of Glasgow. Bishop Whiteford being very obnoxious to the fury 
of the incensed multitude, for being thought amongst the most 
forward of any of his brethren for the liturgy and book of 
canons, which at first set the kingdom in a. flame when the 
troubles broke out, for the security of his person he fled into 
England, where he died in the 1643." Panmure MS., page 112. 
There are no charters extant amongst the Brechin records with 
this bishop's name on them, but it has been ascertained in a court 
of law, that "the reverend father in God, Walter, Bishop of 
Brechin,'' and the town council of Brechin, on 15th May 1637, 
framed a particular act regarding the multures of the mills of 
Brechin. In Wood's peerage, vol. i. page 753, it is stated that 
Bishop Whitford or Whiteford married Anne, one of the daugh- 
ters of Sir John Carmichael of Carmichael. After the Glasgow 
Assembly of 1638 he was presented by King Charles to the 
living of Waldegrave, in Northamptonshire. Bridge's Northamp- 
tonshire, i. 284. On 13th April 1636, Walter, Bishop of Brechin, 


and others were created burgesses of Arbroath. Bargh Record in 
Library at Panniure House. 

30. David Stbachan, 1662. — "Upon the restauration of Episco- 
pacy by King Charles II., his Majesty promoted to this see Mr 
David Strachan, parson of Fettercaim. This prelate was a branch 
of the antient family of Strachans of Thomtoun, in the county of 
Kincardine, where he was born, and had his education in the 
University of Saint Andrews, where he took his degrees. After 
that, betaking himself to the study of theologie, which he pursued 
with great diligence and industry, he was licensed to the ministry, 
and soon after settled at Fettercairn. Being a person of great and 
eminent loyalty, which he had manifested upon severall occasions 
during the usurpation, he was, upon the King's return, as the 
reward of his fidelity and merit, pointed out to be a bishop, and 
by the favour of the Earle of Middleton, who was Mr Strachan's 
near relation, was promoted to this see and consecrate, June Ist^anno 
1662, where he exercised the office of his function till the 1671, 
when death translated him from this mortall life to a state of 
immortality." Panmure MS., page 112. Keith, page 167. The 
Presbytery records of Brechin, of 2d November 1671, bear that 
" David, Bishop of Brechin, departed this lyff, the nynth of 
October last." This bishop concurs with Mr John Strachan, the 
archdeacon, in the grant of a piece of land to the hospital of 
Brechin, on 11th April 1667, and this is the only time his name 
is found amongst the existing records of the burgh of Brechin. 
R. K B., ii. 250. The session records bear that the bishop, with- 
out naming him, made his first entry to, and preached in the 
cathedral church, on 3d August 1662. A placard in the session- 
house, recording grants made to the church, states, " 1665, 
David, Bishop of Brechin, gifted the orlodge on the steeple," the 
clock in the steeple. The same board states, " 1682, Anna Barclay, 
relict, David B. of Brechin (gifted to the poor) £33, 6s. 8d.*' Mr 
Innes, quoting an " Account of Scotch Bishops at Slaines/' says 
Bishop Strachan was buried in the cathedral before the pulpit 

31. Robert Laurie, 1 674. — He was '* son of Joseph Laurie, 
minister at Stirling, was first appointed to the charge of a 
parish ; and being a celebrated preacher, and a man of mode- 
ration, he was, upon the restoration, made Dean of Edinburgh, 


and then advanced to the see of Brechin ; but the benefice of this 
bishopric being small, he was allowed to retain his deanery, and 
continued to exercise a particular ministry at the church of the 
Holy Trinity in Edinburgh, till his death in the year 1677." 
Keith, page 168. From the records of the town council of 17th 
September 1674, it appears "that 'Mr John Dempster, school- 
master, is employed by the bishop to supply his charge as minister/' 
because, as the margin of the council record bears, '' the bishop 

was called to be preacher at ," believed to be the church of 

the Holy Trinity in Edinburgh, which charge he held till his death. 
Bishop Laurie's name only occurs once amongst the Brechin 
charters^ on 21st April 1674, R E. B., ii 251. There is en- 
grossed in the council-book a curious letter, signed " Mr Robert 
Laurie, Bishop of Brechin," addressed to the town council on 16th 
April 1675, regarding the misconduct of a Robert Strachan, 

32. George Halliburton, 1678. — '* George Halliburton, minis- 
ter at Coupar of Angus, was consecrated bishop of this see anno 
1678, and was translated thence to the see of Aberdeen in the 
year 1682." Keith, page 168. Panmure MS., page 114. Some 
business is delayed in the session, on 2d June 1678, "till the 
bishop be present," and he is marked as present in the session on 
the 30th September that year. The head court of the burgh of 
Brechin, of 27th September 1678, was held " Per Beverendum in 
Christo Patrem Georgium Episcopum Brechinensis et Balivos;" 
on 29th September 1681, this bishop, with his own hand, enters 
an appointment in the council-book, of "David Donaldson, 
younger, to continue my balzie for the ensuing year;*' and on 3d 
October' following, this prelate, as provost, takes the lead in sign- 
ing the oaths to government^ along with the rest of the council 
There are no charters extant with his name. 

33. Robert Douqlas^ 1 682. — " A lineal branch of Douglas of 
Olenbervy, in the shire of the Meams, afterwards Earls of Angus, 
now Dukes of Douglas, was bom anno 1626. He had his educa- 
tion in the King's College of Aberdeen; was minister first at 
Laurencekirk, in the Meams, then of Bothwell, Renfrew^ and 
Hamilton, next Dean of Glasgow, from whence he was promoted 
to the see of Brechin anno 1682, and anno 1684, was translated 


to the bishopric of Dunblane." Keith, page 168. Paninure MS., 
page 1 1 4. Robert, Bishop of Brechin, his son, Silvester Donglas, 
and others, were admitted honorary burgesses of Brechin, 1st 
August 1 682. This bishop preached in the cathedral church only 
on four occasions, twice in October in 1682, and twice in October 
1683, as the session records bear. 

34?. Alexander Cairncross, 1684. — "Though he was the 
very heir of the ancient family of the Caimcrosses of Cowmislie, 
yet was so low in his circumstances that he was under a necessity 
to betake himself to an employment, and was a dyer in the Canon- 
gate of Edinburgh, which employment he exercised for many 
years, and with such success, that he was enabled to acquire some 
part of the estate which had pertained to his ancestors. He was 
first parson of Dumfries, until the year 1684, at which time, by 
the recommendation of the Duke of Queensberry, he was promoted 
to the see of Brechin, and soon thereafter to that of Glasgow* 
which was ratified by the King's letters-patent, 3d December 1684. 
Here he continued till the year 1686, when, having incurred the 
displeasure of the Lord Chancellor, the Earl of Perth, (and de- 
servedly, too, if all be true which Dr James Canaries, minister at 
Selkirk, relates,) the King sent a letter to the privy council remov- 
ing him from the archbishopric of Glasgow, of the date, January 
13, 1687. A very irregular step, surely, the King should have 
taken a more canonical course. He lived privately until the 
Revolution in 1 688, after which period he was taken notice of by 
the new powers, who finding him not altogether averse to make 
compliance with them, he was made Bishop of Baphoe in Ireland, 
the 16th May 1693, and in that see he continued till his death, 
anno 1701. He left a considerable estate to his nephew, by a 
sister, George Home of Whitfield." Keith, page 269. He was 
Consecrated Bishop of Brechin in June or August 1684, and on 
6th December following, he was presented to the archbishopric 
of Glasgow. See vol. ix. of the Abstracts of the secretary's books 
in the possession of the family of Mar, Nos. 39 and 40. Keith, 
pages 168 and 269. Panmure MS., page 114. He is present at 
the election of the magistrates of Brechin, on Monday, 29th 
September 1684, and then appoinU John Molison as bishop's 
bailie ; and he was present at the head court of the burgh, held 


4th October same year^ but his name does not afterwards occur in 
the records of the council. Bishop Caimcross preached in the 
cathedral on 1st October 1684, during his visits taking his text 
from Acts xx. 28. How far he acted up to his text it is not for 
us to judge ; but Mr Chalmers prints from the Findowty charter- 
chest a receipt^ granted by John Spence, clerk of Brechin, and 
fieu^r to Alexander, Archbishop of Qlasgow, formerly Bishop of 
Brechin, to the Laird of Findowry, for feu-duty, dated 1 2th Decem- 
ber 1685. R R R, iL 298. Mr Innes says,—'' After the Revolu- 
tion he was made Bishop of Raphoe by King William, and held 
the bishopric from 1693 to 1701, the only instance of such pro- 
motion after the abolition of Episcopacy in Scotland.'' Preface to 
R R B., page xiv. 

35. Jamxs Dbumkond, 1684. — *' This gentleman was the^n of 
Mr James Drummond, minister at Foulis, in Perthshire. Being 
educate with a view of serving in the Church, he was first ordained 
to the ministry at Achterarder, and after that was removed to the 
parsonage of Muthill, where he exercised his pastorall function, 
till the see of Brechin falling to vaick, by the translation thence 
of Bishop Caimcross to Glasgow, in the end of the 1684, he was 
preferred to this see. He was consecrate at the Abbey Church of 
Holyrood House the 26th December 1 684. I had a very good 
character of Bishop Drummond from severall persons of honor 
and probity, who had the favor of his acquaintance, and notwith- 
standing the influence, it was, and might have been presumed, his 
chief and patron might have had with him with respect to the 
design of removing and taking away the laws against Popiy, yet 
he was firm and resolved to oppose the design in his station as 
much as any of his brethren, the bish(^, and no man was more 
8ted£ut in the Protestant religion than he, and both by his preach- 
ing and otherways, he gave ground to believe, he would have been 
as stanch as any man against the opening a door to let in Popry, 
in a parliamentaiy way, if it had come to the test This piece of 
justice, I thoo^t^ was due to the memory of this good man, 
having had this account of him from a person of honour, who had 
access to know the bishop's sentiments of this matter, and was far 
from having any biass to the order of bishops, if it had not been 
a piece of justice to the bishop's memory. After the Revolution, 



Bishop Dmmmond, being deprived with the rest of his brethren, 
tooke himself to a life of retirement, and lived mostly in the 
Countess of ErroFs family, where he died in the year 1695, aged 
sixty-six years/' Panmures MS., pages 1 1 5, 1 1 6. '' It is to be said 
of this prelate, that though he had been promoted by the favor of 
his chief, the Earl of Perth, then chancellor of the kingdom, yet 
he always showed himself as averse to Popery as any person in the 
church, and it is certain there were but very few of the bishops 
(if any at all) who favored an alteration in religion." Keith, page 
169. It appears from the records of the town of Brechin, that 
Bishop Drummond had not reached that burgh on 19th February 
1685, as the council then appointed Alexander Hires to be doctor of 
the grammar-school, " provided my Lord Bishop, at his coming to 
the place, doe approve." The bishop is present in council oa 25th 
September, and he preached in the cathedral church on 1st October 
1685. On 18th April 1689, the Bishop preached in the Cathedral 
for the last time. No charters granted by him have been found. 
It is said he died at Slaines Castle, and was buried at Gruden. 

After the Bevolution, the deposed bishops continued, during 
their respective lifetimes, to exercise spiritual jurisdiction over 
such clergymen as acknowledged them in their several dioceses. 
But as most of these bishops were old men, it was deemed prudent 
to add to the number of bishops, by the election of younger men, 
who were received into the Episcopal college without having any 
particular diocese assigned to them. Dr Russel, from whom we 
borrow the account of the post-revolution bishops, tells us that 
the Rev. John Falconer, formerly one of the ministers of Caimlice 
in Fife, was thus consecrated a bishop at Dundee on 28th April 
1709. He is described as a man of learning, as well as of busi- 
ness, and of great piety and prudence. " In regard to his dis- 
charge of Episcopal offices (says Dr Bussel) we find that in the 
year 1720, immediately after the death of Bishop Bose, (of Edin* 
burgh,) a letter was addressed to him by a great body of the 
clergy in Angus and Mearns, in which they request him to assume 
the spiritual government and inspection of them, ' promising to 
acknowledge him as their proper bishop, and to pay all due and 
canonical obedience to him as such.' During the lifetime of 


Bishop Bose, and at the request of that prelate, he had frequently 
officiated among them with great approbation. He, therefore, 
accepted this affectionate call, as he also accepted a similar one 
at the same time from the clergy in the presbytery of St Andrews 
where he had constantly resided ; and accordingly, with the con* 
sent of his brethren, he acted in these two districts as local bishop 
as long as he lived. But his useful life was doomed not to be long* 
He died in 1723." Russel, page 523. In this way then we assume 
into our list 

36. John Falconib, 1709. — ^Described in the account of Scotch 
bishops at Skunes, as '' a good and grave man, and veiy modest, 
tall, black, and stooping. He dyed at EngUshmadie, July 6, 1723, 
and was buried at Pert'' 

37. BoBBBT NoBBiB, 1724. — ^Innes, prefiace to R E. B. page xv. 

38. Mb John Ouchtbblonib, 1726. — '* After the * death of 
Bishop Rose of Edinburgh, the clergy of Fife, Angus and Meams, 
appear to have had Episcopal offices performed amongst them by 
Bishop John Falconer. This excellent and learned man it is 
known to the reader died in 1723, between which date and the 
period of the concordate in 1731, 1 know not how the duties of a 
bishop were discharged in those extensive districts. By the 
articles of agreement just alluded to, it was provided that the 
diocese of Brechin, together with the Garse of Gk>wrie, the Presby* 
teries of Dundee, Arbroath, and Meams, should be under the 
inspection of Bishop Ouchterlonie. It was on the 29th November 
1726, that Mr Ouchterlonie was consecrated at Edinburgh, by the 
Bishops Freebaim, Duncan, and Cant» the only three, it is added, 
who could be prevailed 5n to do it The objection to him, so far 
as can be gathered from the several hints, which are mystically 
expressed, had a reference to the Erastian notions, which, at that 
time, disturbed the peace of the Episcopal Church, and this candi- 
date for the mitre appears to have relied more on his interest at 
the Court of St Germains than on the esteem of his brethren, or 
the good opinion of his superiors. Bishop Ouchterlonie died in 
the year 1742.'' Russel, pages 543, 544. 

39. Mr James Rait, 1742.—" The clergy of Brechin lost no 
time in electing a successor to the ordinary, with whom the con* 
cordate had supplied them. They made choice of Mr Rait, 


presbyter in Dundee, a highly-respected character, who wa8» on 
the 4th of October 1 742, elevated to the episcopate by the hands 
of Bishops Rattray, Keith, and White, and forthwith collated to 
the superintendency of Brechin. Of this bishop, a learned corre- 
spondent says, 'I know nothing more than that he possessed 
strong good sense, had a very dignified manner when performing 
his episcopal offices, and that he was a celebrated preacher, preach- 
ing without notes till he became a very old man. His charges to 
the youth whom he confirmed he delivered without notes and 
without hesitation, long after he was eighty years of age.' The 
reader may not be displeased to peruse the following testimonials in 
favour of Mr Rait, addressed, as was the practice of that period to 
the Lord Bishop of Edinburgh. ' These are to testify that Mr James 
Rait, son of Mr William Rait, minister of Monikie, being, by your 
lordship's order, admitted to pass the preparatory trials before sach 
ministers in Dundee and the neighbourhood, as you appointed, in 
order to his entering into the ministry, hath done the same to our 
very great satisfaction, and therefore we do, with the more con- 
fidence and earnestness, recommend him to your lordship to obtain 
your lordship's licence for preaching, or to get him into the orders 
of a deacon, as your lordship judges fit In witness whereof these 
presents are written by our joint allowance, and ordered to be 
signed by moderator and clerk, ad hunc effectum, at Dundee, the 
twentieth and first day of October, 1712 years, (Signed) Robert 
Norie, preses ; James Goldman, clerk/ The venerable bishop died 
in the year 1777," Russel, pages 544, 545. The Society of Anti- 
quaries possess the matrix of the seal of this bishop, inscribed — 
" Sigillum lacobi Rait Episcopi Brechineifbis, Meliora Spero." 

40. Mr George Innes, 1 778. — '' This bishop was minister of a 
chapel in Aberdeen, and was consecrated at Alloa» on the 13th 
of August 1776, by Bishop Falconer, Bishop Rose, and Bishop 
Petrie. He was collated at the same time to the superintendence 
of the district of Brechin, but did not live long to discharge the 
duties of it. He died on the 18th of May 1781, after which date 
the diocese remained some years vacant" Russel, page 545. The 
Society of Antiquaries are also possessed of the matrix of the 
seal of Bishop Innes, bearing for its legend simply, "Sigillum 
Georgii Episcopi Brechinensis." 

41. Dr William Abebnkthy Drubimond, 1787. — *'It has 


been already mentioned that this distinguished man was elevated 
to the episcopate on the 26th of September 1787 ; that he was 
consecrated as Bishop of Brechin, bat that almost immediately 
afterwards he was elected to the see of Edinburgh, where he had 
his pastoral charge, and that he continued to preside over the 
clergy of that district, till the year 1805. He was descended 
firom the family of Abemethy of Saltoun, in the shire of Banff, 
and it was only npon his marriage with the heiress of Haw- 
ihomden, in the county of Mid-Lothian, that he assumed the 
name of Drummond. He wrote many small tracts, and was a 
good deal engaged in theological controversy, both with Protes- 
tants and Boman Catholics, but his intemperate manner defeated, 
in most cases, the benevolence of his intentions, and only irritated 
those whom he had wished to convince. He died on the 27th of 
August 1809." Bussel, page 545. 

42. Mr John Strachak, 1788. — '^Thia most respectable 
clergyman was sprung from the family of Strachaa of Thomtoun, 
in the county of Kincardine, now represented by his kinsman, the 
gallant Admiral Sir Richard Strachan^ He was consecrated at 
Peterhead on the same day with Dr A. Drummond^ to. whom, 
indeed, he was at that period appointed coadjutor, but the latter 
being, within a few months afterwards, elected by the clergy of 
Edinburgh, Bishop Strachan was preferred to the undivided charge 
of the diocese of Brechin. He lived to a very advanced age, 
having, however, survived for some time the powers of his mind 
as well as of his body, and died on the 28th of January 1810, 
universally beloved and r^retted." Bussel, pages 545, 546. 

43. Dr Geobgb Gleio, 1810.— "Seldom can it fall to the lot 
of a communion so small and so poor as the Episcopal Church in 
Scotland to enjoy the credit attached to so great a name as that 
of Bishop Gleig. His reputation as a scholar and philosopher is 
so well established by his numerous works that it is as unnecessary 
as it would be impertinent in me to attempt an eulogium. of 
which he would be the first to call in question the propriety. 
Having long discharged with much ability the various duties of a 
presbyter, he was, in the autumn of 1808, elected by the clergy of 
Brechin, as coadjutor to their aged bishop, and consecrated at 
Aberdeen, on the 30th of October the same year by Bishop 
Skinner, Bishop Jolly, and Bishop Torry. On the death of Bishop 


StrachaDi in 1810, he was preferred to the sole charge of the 
diocese ; and in 1816, upon the demise of Bishop Skinner, he was 
chosen by his brethren to fill the office of Priinns, in virtue of 
which he presides in all the meetings of the Episcopal CoUega" 
Russel, page 546. 

44. David Moib, A.M., 1837. — Bishop Oleig having become 
imable, through the infirmities of age» to exercise his episcopal 
duties, being in his 85th year, the Bev. David Moir, minister of 
St Andrew's chapel in Brechin was elected by the clergy as his 
coadjutor and successor, and consecrated and collated to the 
superintendence of the diocese, by Bishops Walker, Skinner, and 
Low, at Edinburgh, on the 8th of October 1837. In August 
1839, Washington College, Hartford, Connecticut^ U.S., conferred 
the degree of Doctor of Divinity on Bishop Moir, who accepted 
the title, and valued it '' as a token of friendly recognition and 
intercommunion between the Scottish Episcopal Church, and her 
daughter Church in America." Bishop Gleig survived till 9th 
March 1840, when the whole charge of the diocese devolved on 
Dr Moir. These duties he discharged faithfully for seven years 
afterwards. Bishop Moir died on 21st August 1847, as a hand- 
some monument erected to his memory by the congr^tion in St 
Andrew's chapel bears. Dr Moir was much beloved in his con- 
gregation as a pious, zealous minister, and much esteemed in his 
diocese as a learned man and sound theologian. 

45. Alexandeb Penkose Forbes, D.C.L., was consecrated on 
the Feast of St Simon and St Jude, 28th October 1847, by the 
Right Reverend William Skinner, Bishop of Aberdeen, Michael 
Russel, Bishop of Glasgow, and Charles Terrot, Bishop of Edin- 
burgh. Quem Deus Conservat. 

No. IV. 


Impnmist I charge myself with one hundred merks, left over 


when the shoemakers gave in the money to the minister and me a 
little after Martinmas '83, viz., SOO merks Scots, of which there 
was lent to John Lowson, of Balnnie, and to Alexander Watt in 
Brechin, his cautioner, 200 merks; the other 100 merks was 
ordered by the minister to be keeped for the repairing of the 
little steeple-head, and other work in the kirk^ in regard I was 
exhausted in my last accompt, which it will clear itself according 
to my discharge. 

DiahuraemenU concerning the Steeple-Head, on thel6tho/ 

May '84j. 

Item, to Bailie James Allan for seventeen fathoms of 

towes, at 2s. 6d. fathom, is, . . .£226 

Item, to John Shirras for his workmanship, and drink 

money to his man, • . • . 31 

Item, for leading the scaffolding to and again from 

James Moug's house, with two great stones to the 

steeple-head, is, . . . . 1 2 10 

Item, for peats for melting of lead to the steeple-head, 6 8 
Item, to James Young for five load of sand to the 

steeple-head, . . . . .068 

Item, to David Brand for his help at the work at the 

steeple-head, . . . 2 16 10 

Item, to James Einnear for his (help) to the work 

foresaid, .368 

Item, at the whole occasion for meat and drink to the 

work, , . . 6 16 10 

Item, to James Low, smith, for the whole iron work 

to the steeple-head, , . 8 12 

£56 11 

James Moug refers his payment for his workmanship done at 
the steeple-head, till he receives his answer from the session, for the 
room for ane desk begging (erecting a pew) under the stool of 
repentance, that was desired by him. 

[In the margin of the Becord there is this marking:] — Remember 
this is the last to the steeple-head by James Moug. 


Extracts from Discharge at Martinmas 1G83. 

Item, to George Skinner and Thomas Langlands, by 
order from the session, on the* 5th July '83, 1 boll 
2 firlots of oatmeal, at six lib the boll, is, .£900 

Item, to John Forrest for the Broad in the session- 
house, . 13 6 8 

Note. — Suppose that in addition to the disbursements 
above given, of . . . . £56 11 

James Moug^s account, for which the favour of a pew 
was expected, had been equal to John Shirras, or a 
trifle more, say . . . . 31 9 

Then we have in all, . . £88 

Or equal to 14f bolls of meal, at £6 the boll, the price as shown 
above in 1683 ; so after allowing for scafiblding and iron work, 
the mason work of the repairs had not extended much above the 
'* two great stones " brought from James Moug's house. 






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No. VI. 



Qth April 1842. — A wooden case for a trump or JewVbarp ; 
an iron staple ; eight buttons ; a bodle, (old Scotch coin.) 7^ 
A button, (Forfarshire volunteers;) fragment of a small brass 
fastener. 8^, A parcel of *' buckie/' or periwinkle, shells ; a parcel 
of oyster shells ; half of a mussel shell ; small shell ; seven old nails, 
iron ; a piece of horn perforated ; a piece of limestone ; two teeth of 
animals ; four pieces of painted glass ; piece of bell metal ; four frag- 
ments of an earthenware vessel 9^, Oyster shells ; small shell ; 
bit of brownish yellow flint ; two bits of sheet lead ; bit of bell metal; 
bit of painted glass ; two bits of verdigris ; one animal tooth ; 
seven old iron nails ; piece of limestone ; three fragments of an 
earthenware vessel 11^, Twelve fragments of earthenware 
vessels, one of them having a side ear or handle ; an old iron key; 
and four other pieces of iron articles, all much rusted. 12tA^ 
Eighty fragments of earthenware vessels ; fragments of charred 
wood ; a leather cord ; some old iron nails ; three pieces of stained 
glass ; four pieces plain glass ; two pieces copper ; small circular 
stone ; small bit of metal ; an oval ring, apparently copper. 

No. VII. 


Brechin, 13<4 AprU, 1842. 

Deab Sib,— The obstacles alluded to in my last letter having 
all been removed, Mr M'Cosh and I proceeded on this day week, 
Wednesday, 6th April to excavate the interior of the Round 
Tower of Brechin. Sir James Carnegie, Baronet^ of Southesqae, 
our principal heritor, taking an active interest in our proceed- 
ings, and Patrick Chalmers, Esquire, of Aldbar, having volun- 
teered in the most handsome manner to pay all expenses, although, 


unfortunately, from bis bad state of health, he is unable to witness 
oar proceedings, and has, in consequence of continued indisposi- 
tion, been obliged to resign the seat he held in Parliament for this 
district of burghs, a circumstance which has thrown this quarter 
into a fever of politics, for it will be no easy matter to find a man 
possessed of all Mr Chalmers's qualifications to fill his room. 

The round tower of Brechin, you will recollect^ has a door- 
way on the west side, the sill of which is six feet seven inches 
from the ground, and this door-way being filled up with stone- 
work, our first proceeding was to open it I went down on 
Wednesday morning by siz o'clock (I wish to be minute) accom- 
panied by David Black, carpenter in Brechin, and James Jolly, 
mason in Brechin, and these tradesmen, in my presence, carefully 
removed the stones which blocked up the doorway, leaving the 
arch free and uninjured, and displaying a handsome entrance into 
the tower. A set of wooden steps were then fitted to give access 
by the door, while precautions were adopted for shutting up the 
tower when the workmen were not there, so as to prevent any 
person introducing modem antiques for our annoyance. After 
removing some old wood and other lumber, recently placed there 
by the church officers, James Jolly was left alone, as the circle of 
the tower did not give scope for more workmen. He then pro- 
ceeded to dig amongst the loose earth, and has been so employed 
till to-day, being from time to time visited by Mr M'Cosh and ma 
Each shovelful as dug up was carefully sifted and thrown into a 
heap ; this sifted earth, when accumulated into a small heap was 
then thrown out at the door of the tower and down the wooden 
steps alluded to ; after this the earth was put, by a spadeful at a 
time, into a barrow, and wheeled to a comer of the churchyard. 
Here again, the earth was thrown by a shovel into a cart^ and 
then driven away. By this repeated handling I think it next 
to impossible that anything of the least consequence could have 
escaped observation. I directed James Jolly to keep a regular 
journal of his proceedings, and each evening, when he gave up 
work, he brought it to the British Linen Company's bank office, 
and left with the accountant, Mr Robert Lindsay, the articles found 
each day, and Mr Lindsay again labelled and marked the articles 
so found. David Black, the carpenter, is Mr M'Cosh's tradesman. 


a master workman, and an individual of undoubted character. 
James Jolly is a journeyman mason, a very intelligent man, and a 
person upon whose integrity ample reliance can be placed; aod 
Mr Lindsay, with whom I have been acquainted through life, and 
who has now been with me for thirteen years continuously, is a 
man of the greatest probity. I am fully satisfied, therefore, that 
we have got a careful and correct account of everything found in 
the tower. 

James Jolly has now dug seven feet below the door-siU, that is, 
he is about five inches below the external ground line and hewn 
basement or plinth, and has come to where the hewn work ceases, 
and rude, undressed stones form the building of the tower. At 
this depth we stop until we hear from you« We have not reached 
the virgin rock on which the tower is built, but we have now 
reached the clay, and till or sand rock, which appears to hare 
been disturbed, as if it were what had been dug out for the foun- 
dation, and thrown into the centre of the tower. Until this 
depth we have dug through a fine mould, composed of decayed 
wood, and other vegetable matter, mixed up with a little animal 
matter. We found a quantity of peats, and a good deal of dross 
of peats, or refuse of moss ; and we also found great varieties of 
bones, principally sheep bones, especially jaw-bones of sheep, some 
bones of oxen, and a few human bones, these last being vertebne 
pieces of skulls, toes, and bits of jawbones. These bones were 
found at all depths, but we found no bones of any size* We have 
likewise got a quantity of slates, a hewn stone for the top of a 
lancet-shaped arch ; part of the sill of a window, with the base of 
a mullion traced on it; some basement stones, and others of 
coarser workmanship. Oyster shells, buckles, or sea shells, old 
nails, buttons, bits of copperas, two small lumps of bell metal, and 
three little bits of stained glass have also been found at different 
depths, and yesterday we found the remains of a key. But what 
will most please your pagan friends is the fact that since we 
were down aboi^t three feet, we have each day found various 
pieces of uma or jars. None of the pieces, although put to- 
gether form a complete urn, but I think amongst the pieces 
I can trace out three or four distinct vessels. One appears to 
have been of glazed earthenware, and to have had little handles. 


as thus {figured in the letter)^ while round the inner ledge there 
are small round indentations ; about a third of this vessel remains 
as marked by the dotted linea Other two vessels are of clay, 
regularly baked apparently, but not glazed, and one is slightly 
ornamented round the edge, thus {figured in the letter)^ the in- 
dentations being evidently made by alternately pressing the thumb 
and forefinger horizontal, and the thumb perpendicular in the wet 

Now, how came all these things there ? I am afraid you will 
set me down, not for a pagan, but for a veritable heathen, when 
I say that my opinion is, the slates, glass, wood, and iron, had 
been tossed in, at what in Scotland is called the Reformation, 
when our Scotch apostle, John Knox, drove your Soman apostles 
from what he termed their rookeries ; that the bones and great 
part of the animal and vegetable matter had been carried to the 
top of the tower by the rooks and jackdaws (kaes of Scotland) for 
building their nests, and feeding their young, and had tumbled 
from thence to the bottom of the tower ; that the peats and the 
rest of the stuff had been thrown at various times into the bottom of 
the tower as a general receptacle for all refuse.; and that the frag- 
ments of urns or jars are just the remains of culiuary articles be- 
longing to the different kirk-officers. 

After this declaration, can I expect to hear from you again, 
advising me what further we ought to do in regard to our 
round tower, which, in my eyes, remains as great a mystery as 

The steeple of the church of Montrose was rebuilt some eight 
years ago, on the site of a steeple which had existed beyond 
the memory of man. It was thought necessary to dig the founda- 
tion of the new tower deeper than the old had been founded, and 
in the course of this excavation, various skeletons were found 
buried amongst sand and gravel — the subsoil on which the town 
of Montrose stands. The fact of bodies being buried below towers 
and steeples then will scarce prove the erections to be either 
Christian or pagan. 

The tracings which you sent of Cloyne Tower, represent very 
closely the style of building of the round tower of Brechin, 
especiaUy where two or more horizontal stones are connected by 


a smaller perpendicular one, thus {figured in letter)^ and also 
where one is laid with a little toe, or thinner part of it projecting 
as it were beyond itself, over another stone, as sketched above. In 
Brechin, too, as at Gloyne, we found it impossible to drive a nail 
into the joints of the doorway, while into some parts of the general 
masonry I have thrust my cane with ease for several inches. Sir 
William Gcll, you remark, gives drawings of a similar mode of build- 
ing in the vicinity of Rome, but is this not just a mode common 
to all nations in their rude state, who put up as large stones as 
they can find or move with ease, and bring them together by means 
of smaller pieces ? 

I was prepared to have made some remarks on Mr Windele's 
letters to you, but fear I have already brought sufiBciency of 
round towers down on my head. I postpone saying anything on 
this subject till I see Mr Windele's book, which you are so kind as 
to promise me. — ^Believe me, dear sir, yours very truly, 

D. D. Black. 

P./S. — I have, of course, carefully preserved the urns and other 
relics found. 

No. VIII. 


In the following List from 1673 to 1715, there are letters afiBxed 
to the names of the Bailies, (P.) denoting that the Bailie was 
nominated by the Earl of Panmure ; (E.) nominated by Mr James 
Erskine, as come in place of Lord Panmure ; (G.) by Lord Grange, 
formerly Mr James Erskine ; (B.) nominated by the Bishop of 
Brechin ; and (T.) implying Town's Bailie, or the Bailie chosen 
by the Town Council 

George Steele, David Donaldson, 
yr., and David liddell, bailies. 
John liddell, dean of guild. 
David Donaldson, elder. 

John Jamieson. 
Laurence Skinner. 
Andrew Allan. 
John Fenton. 
James Allan. 



James Henderson. 
John Skinner. 
John Low. 


John Liddell, (P.,) David Donald- 
son, yr., (B.,) and David lid- 
deU, (T.,) baiUe& 

Andrew AUan, dean of goild. 

John Fenton, treasurer. 

James Allan, hospital master. 

Qeo. Steel& 

D. Donaldson, elder. 

Laurence Skinner. 

John Jamieson. 

James Henderson. 

John Skinner. 

John Low. 

23d December. 

Alexander Young, councillor, vice 

bailie John Liddell, deceased. 

Qeorge Steele, (T.,) John Liddell, 

(P.,) and David Liddell, (B.,) 

Dd. Donaldson, yr., dean of guild. 
James Henderson, treasurer. 
James Allan, hospital master. 
David Donaldson, elder. 
John Jamieson. 
Laurence Skinner. 
Andrew Allan. 
John Fenton. . 
John Skinner. 
John Low. 

Dd, Donaldson, yr., (B.,) David 

Liddell, (T.,) and James AUan, 

(P.,) bidliea. 
Andrew AUan, dean of guild. 
James Henderson, treasurer. 
John Fenton, hospital master. 
Oeorge Steele. 
John LiddelL 
John Low. 

Dd. Donaldson, elder. 
James Low. 
John Skinner. 
John Allan. 


James Allan, (B.,) Laurence Skin- 
ner, (P.,) and Andrew Allan, 
(T.,) bailies. 

Dd. Donaldson, yr., dean of guild. 

John Skinner, treasurer. 

John Fenton, hospital master. 

David Liddell. 

David Donaldson, elder. 

John Allan. 

Geo. Steele. 

Alexander Young. 

James Henderson. 

John Baillie. 


James Allan, (P.,) Laurence Skin- 
ner, (B.,) and Andrew Allan, 
(T.,) bailiea 

Dd. Donaldson, yr., dean of guUd. 

Alexander Young, treasurer. 

John Skinner, hospital master. 

David LiddelL 

John Fenton. 

David Donaldson, elder. 

George Steele. 

James Low. 

James Henderson. 

James Cowie. 

*Qeorge, bishop of Brechin. 
James Allan, (B.,) Andrew Allan, 

(T.,) and John Skinner, (P.,) 

Dd. Donaldson, yr., dean of guildj 
James Cowie, treasurer. 
David Stewart, hospital master. 
Laurence Skinner. 
David Donaldson, elder. 
J. Jamieson. 

* The Bishop, Oeor^ Haliburton, is 
mentioned aa ntting in council at this 
time, and freqaently afterwards. 



David Liddell. 
James Henderson. 
Alexander Young. 
James Low. 


Ja. Allan, (P.,) Lau. Skinner, (T.,) 
and John Skinner, (B.,) bailies. 

David liddell, dean of goild. 

James Cowie, treasurer. 

David Stewart, hospital master. 

Andrew Allan. 

David Donaldson, yr. 

J. Jamieson. 

David Donaldson, elder. 

James Henderson. 

Alexander Young. 

James Low. 

8th January, 1680. 

John Fenton, councillor, vice Alex- 
ander Young, deceased. 


John Jamieson, (P.,) Dd. Donald- 
son, yr., (B ,) and John Skin- 
ner,(T.,) bailies. 

David Liddell, dean of guild. 

James Cowie, treasurer. 

David Stewart, hospital master. 

James Allan. 

James Henderson. 

Andrew Allan. 

John Fenton. 

Laurence Skinner. 

David Donaldson, elder. 

John Qibson. 

30th June, 1681. 

David Liddell, appointed to offi- 
ciate as bailie in place of John 
Skinner, who had left Brechin. 


John Jamieson, (P.,) D. Donald- 
son, yr., (B.,) and David Lid- 
dell, (T.,) bailies. 

James Allan, dean of guUd. 

Francis Molison, treasurer. 

David Stewart, hospital master. 

Andrew Allan. 
James Cowie. 
James Henderson. 
Laurence Skinner. 
John Fenton. 
David Donaldson, elder. 
John Gibson. 


Robert, bishop of Brechin. 

John Jamieson, (P.,) Dd. Donald- 
son, yr., (B.,) and David Lid- 
dell, (T.,) baiUes. 

James Allan, dean of guild. 

Alexander Dall, treasurer. 

David Stewart, hospital master. 

Francis Molison. 

Andrew Fairweather. 

John Fenton. 

Laurence Skinner. 

Jas. Henderson. 

D. Donaldson, elder. 

John Qibson. 


Robert, bishop of Brechin, (sab- 
scribing provost of Brechin.) 

J. Jamieson, (P.,) D. Donaldson, 
yr., (B.,) D. Liddell, (T.,) baiUes. 

James Allan, dean of guild. 

Alexander Dall, treasurer. 

John Hendiy, hospital master. 

David Stewart 

Francis Molison. 

John Fenton. 

Laurence Skinner. 

James Henderson. 

D. Donaldson, elder. 

John Gibson. 

26th September 1684. 

David Gray, merchant^ John Low, 
smith, conndllors, vice Bailie 
Donaldson, deceased, and John 
Gibson, removed. 

Alexander, bishop of 




D. Liddell, (P.,) Laurence Skin- 
ner, (T.,) and Francis MoHBon, 
(B.y) btdlies. 

James Allan, dean of guild. 

Alexander Dall, treasurer. 

John Hendry, hospital master. 

John Jamieson. 

David Qray. 

James Cowie. 

David Stewart. 

James Henderson. 

D. Donaldson. 

John Low. 


James, bishop of Brechin. 

James Allan, (B.,) Laurence Skin- 
ner, (T.,) and James Cowie, (P.,) 

Francis Molison, dean of guild. 

David Qray, treasurer. 

John Hendry, hospital master. 

David Liddell. 

Alex. DalL 

David Stewart. 

Alex. Young. 

James Henderson. 

Alexander Jamieson.* 

John Low. 

1686, 1687, and 1688. 
Elections suspended by order of 
King and Privy Council, and 
former magistrates and council 
continued in their offices. 

David Liddell, (T.,) and James 

Cowie, (P.,) bailies. 
Francis Molison, dean of guild. 
Alexander Young, treasurer. 
Alex. Jamieson, hospital master. 
Laurence Skinner. 
William BaiUie. 
James Henderson. 

* See 7th Angut 1686, ei 9eq,, lome' 
timea esUed ** Jamie." 

John Milne. 
David Stewart. 
David Young. 
David Qray. 
Andrew Knox. 

Francis Molison, (P.,) and Alex. 

Young, (T.,) bailies. 
David Liddell, dean of guild. 
William Baillie, treasurer. 
Alex. Jamieson, hospital master. 
James Cowie. 
Andrew Knox. 
John Fenton. 
James Low. 
John Milne. 
Alex. Fairweather, yr. 
David Young. 
James Thom. 

Francis Molison, (P.,) and Alex. 

Young, (T.,) bauies. 
David Liddell, dean of guild. 
Alexander Jamieson, treasurer. 
John Milne, hospital master. 
William Baillie. 
Andrew Knox. 
James Cowie. 
James Low. 
John Fenton. 
Alexander Fairweather. 
David Young. 
James Thom. 

30th May 1692. 
David Young, hospital master, vice 

John Milne, deceased. 

Francis Molison, (P.,) and Alex. 

Young, (T.,) bailies. 
David laddell, dean of guild. 
Alexander Jamieson, treasurer. 
William Baillie, hospital master. 
James Cowie. 
Andrew Knox. 
David Qray. 




James Low. 
J. Sandieson. 
A. Fairweather. 
David Young. 
James Thorn. 

Francis Molison, (P.,) and Alex. 

Young, (T.,) bailies. 
David Gray, dean of guild. 
Alexander Jamieson, treasurer. 
William Baillie, hospital master. 
David Liddell. 
Andrew Knox. 
James Cowie. 
James Low. 
J. Sandieson. 
A. Fairweather. 
David Young. 
James Thom. 

James Cowie, (P.,) and WiUiam 

Baillie, (T.,) bailies. 
Alexander Young, dean of guild. 
David Young, treasurer. 
A. Fairweather, hospital master. 
Francis Molison. 
J. Sandieson. 
David Gray. 
Andrew Knox. 
A. Jamieson. 
James Low. 
David Liddell. 
James Thom. 

Alexander Young, (T.,) and Wm. 

Baillie, (P.,) bailies. 
David Liddell, dean of guild. 
David Young, treasurer. 
A. Fairweather, hospital master. 
J. Cowie. 
J. Sandieson. 
J. Donaldson. 
John Wood. 
D. Gray. 
James Low. 

John Spenoe. 
James Thom. 

Alexander Young, provopt. 
William Baillie, (P.,) and James 

Cowie, (T.,) bailies. 
David Gray, dean of guild. 
James Thom, treasurer. 
A. Fairweather, hospital master. 
David LiddelL 
David Young. 
James Spence. 
J. Donaldson. 
John Wood. 
John Spence. 
James Low. 

Alexander Young, provost. 
David LiddeU, (P.,) and David 

Gray, (T.,) bailies. 
James Cowie, dean of guild. 
James Thom, treasurer. 
A. Fairweather, hospital master. 
WilUam BaiUie. 
David Young. 
Alex. Wilson. 
John Doig. 
James Millar. 
David Robertson. 
John Wood. 

Alexander Young, provost. 
David Gray and J. Doig, bailies. 
James Cowie, dean of guild. 
James Thom, treasurer. 
A. Fairweather, hospital master. 
David Liddell. 
A. Jamieson, yr. 
A. Wilson. 
David Young. 
James Millar. 
D. Robertson. 
John Wood. 

Note. — In list of councilloFB 
elected, William Baillie'snuna 



is inserted by mistake for that 
of Alexander Wilson. 

Alexander Young, provost. 
Alex. Fairweather and D. Young, 

William Baillie, dean of guild. 
David Robertson, treasurer. 
James Thom, hospital master. 
John Knox, convener. 
D. Gray. 
James Millar. 
J. Cowie. 
A. Jamieson, yr. 
A. Wilson. 
Alex. Cobb. 

John Doig, provost 
William Baillie, (P.,) and A. Fair- 
weather, (T.,) bailies. 
James Thom, dean of guild. 
David Robertson, treasurer. 
James Spence, hospital master. 
David Gray. 
Alex. Young. 
A. Jamieson^ yr. 
Alex. Jamieson. 
J. Knox, deacon convener. 
Alex. Wilson. 
David Myles. 

John Doig, provost 
David Gray, (P.,) and A. Fair- 
weather, (T.,) bailies. 
William Baillie, dean of guild. 
David Robertson, treasurer. 
James Spence, hospital master. 
John Donaldson, yr. 
John Spence. 
A. Jamieson, yr. 
A. Jamieson. 

J. Knox, deacon convener. 
A. Wilson. 
David Myles. 

David Gray, provost 
Wniiam BailUe, (P.,) and Alex. 

Fairweather, (T.,) bailies. 
Francis Molison, dean of guild. 
Alexander Wilson, treasurer. 
James Spence, hospital master. 
John Jamieson. 
A. Jamieson, (formerly yr.) 
J. Liddell. 
John Spence. 
John Eluox. 
John Donaldson. 
David Myles. 

David Gray, provost. 
A. Fairweather, (P.,) and James 

Spence, (T.,) bailie& 
Francis Molison, dean of guild. 
Alexander Wilson, treasurer. 
John Spence, hospital master. 
James Donaldson. 
John Jamieson, 
John LiddelL 
A. Jamieson. 
John Knox. 
John Donaldson. 
David Myles. 

David Gray, provost 
Francis Molison, (P.,) and James 

Spence, (T.,) bailies. 
A. Fairweather, dean of guild. 
Alexander Wilson, treasurer. 
John Spence, hospital master. 
James Donaldson. 
John Jamieson. 
John Liddell. 
Alex. Jamieson. 
John Knox. 
John Donaldson. 
David Myles. 

Francis Molison, (P.,) and James 
Spence, (T.,) bailies. 



A. Fairweather, dean of guild. 

James Donaldson, treasurer. 

John Spence, hospital master. 

David Gray. 

Alexander Wilson. 

John Jamiesou. 

John Liddell. 

Alex. Jamieson. 

John Knox. 

John Donaldson. 

David Myles. 

Alexander Young, provost. 
David Young, (T.,) and David 

Robertson, (E.,) bailies. 
James Cowie, dean of guild. 
Andrew Doig, treasurer. 
John Spence, hospital master. 
David Gray. 
John Doig. 
David Myles. 
A. Jamieson. 
John Liddell. 
John Knox. 
William Clark. 

Alexander Young, provost. 
James Cowie, (G.,) and D. Young, 

(T.,) bailies. 
James Spence, dean of guild. 
Andrew Doig, treasurer. 
John Liddell, hospital master. 
David Robertson. 
David Gray. 

John Knox, deacon convener. 
John Doig. 
David Myles. 
A. Jamieson. 
William Clark. 

Note. — Jas. Cowie and David 
Gray did not qualify by tak- 
ing oath of abjuration. 

David Young, (G.,) and James 
Spence, (T.,) bailies. 

WilUam Clark, dean of guild. 

Robert Whyte, treasurer. 

John Liddell, hospital master. 

Wm. Guthrie. 

A. Jamieson. 

Andrew Doig. 
! David Robertson. 
: John Knox. 
I John Doig. 
' David Myles. 

Alexander Young, provost. 

John Doig, provost. 
James Spence, (T.,) and Andrew 

Doig, (G.,) bailies. 
William Clark, dean of guild. 
Robert Whyte, treasurer. 
John Liddell, hospital master. 
Alexander Young. 
David Young. 
A. Jamieson. 
William Guthrie. 
John Knox. 
David Robertson. 
David Myles. 

John Doig, provost. 
Andrew Doig, (T.,) and William 

Clark, (G.,) bailies. 
James Spence, dean of guild. 
Robert Whyte, treasurer. 
Wm. Guthrie, hospital master. 
David Young. 
David Robertson. 
David Myles. 
A Jamieson. 

John Smith, hammerman. 
John Knox. 
David Windrem. 

John Doig, provost. 
Andrew Doig, (G.,) and William 

Clark, (T.,) baiUes. 
James Spence, dean of guild. 



John Knox, treasurer. 

WuL Guthrie, hospital master. 

Robert Whyte. 

James Durie. 

David Mylea 

D. Robertson. 

John Smith. 

Alex. Jamieson. 

David Windrem. 

John Doig, provost. 
James Spence, (T.,) and Andrew 

Doig, (Q.,) bailies. 
William Clark, dean of guild. 
John Knox, treasurer. 
Wm. Quthiie, hospital master. 
Robert Whyte. 
James Durie. 
David Mylea 
D. Robertson. 
John Smith. 
Alex. Jamieson. 
David Windrem. 

1713, same as 1712. 

John Doig, provost 
James Spence, (T.,) and Andrew 

Doig, (G.,) bailies. 
William Clark, dean of guild. 
John Knox, treasurer. 
Wm. Guthrie, hospital master. 
Robert Whyte. 
James Durie. 
James Smith. 
D. Robertson. 
John Smith. 
Alexander Jamieson. 
David Windrem. 

James Spence, (P.,) and William 

Chirk, (T.,) bailies. 
David Young, dean of guild. 
John Knox, treasurer. 
Wm. Guthrie, hospital master. 

David Windrem. 
Robert AUardice. 
Alex. Jamieson. 
John liddelL 
James Camegy. 
James M'Kenzie, yr. 
John Ouchterlony. 
Robert Adam. 

John Doig, provost. 
Andrew Doig and Robert Wh3rte, 

David Robertson, dean of guild. 
James Durie, treasurer. 
Wm. Shepherd, hospital master. 
Wm. Gardener, yr. 
James Cowie. 
James Smith. 
James Doig. 
William Knox. 
John Smith. 
Henry Cowie. 

1717, same as 1716. 

John Doig, provost. 
Andrew Doig and James Cowie, 

James Doig, dean of guild. 
James Durie, treasurer. 
Wm. Shepherd, hospital master. 
Robt. Webster. 
Wm. Gardener, elder. 
Wm. Gardener, yr. 
John Smith. 
William Knox. 
James Smith. 
Henry Cowie. 

John Doig, provost. 
Andrew Doig and James Cowie, 

James Doig, dean of guild. 
James Durie, treasurer. 
Wm. Shepherd, hospital master. 



Wra. Gardener, elder. 
Robert Webster. 
James Smith. 
William Gardener, yr. 
A. Baillie. 
John Smith. 
Henry Cowie. 

John Doig, provost. 
Andrew Doig and James Cowie, 

James Doig, dean of guild. 
James Durie, treasurer. 
Robert Webster, hospital master. 
Alexander Moug. 
David Gray. 
James Smith. 
W. Gardener, yr. 
Alexander Baillie. 
John Smith. 
David Doig. 

John Doig, provost. 
Andrew Doig and John Knox, 

David Doig, dean of guild. 
James Durie, treasurer. 
Robert Webster, hospital master 
James Doig. 
Alexander Moug. 
John Smith. 
David Gray. 
James Smith. 
W. Gardener, yr. 
Alexander Baillie. 

John Doig, provost. 
Andrew Doig and John Knox, 

David Doig, dean of guild. 
James Durie, treasurer. 
Alex. Moug, hospital master. 
John Lyon. 
James Doig. 
John Smith. 

David Gray. 
James Smith. 
W. Gardener, yr. 
Alex. Baillie. 

John Doig, provost. 
Andrew Doig and David Doig, 

Alexander Moug, dean of guild. 
James Durie, treasurer. 
David Gray, hospital master. 
John Knox. 
John Lyon. 
John Smith. 
Henry Cowie. 
James Smith. 
W. Gardener, yr. 
Alexander Baillie. 

4th May 1724. 
David Gray, H.M., appointed to 
uplift town's rents, vice Jaa. 
Durie, treasurer, deceased. 

John Doig, provost. 
Andrew Doig and David Doig, 

Alex. Moug, dean of guild. 
David Gray, treasurer. 
Edward Leslie, hospital master. 
Alexander Grim. 
John Lyon. 
John Smith. 
Henry Cowie. 
James Smith. 
W. Gardener. 
Alexander Baillie. 

1725, same as 1724. 

Robert Whyte, provost. 
James Cowie and David Windrem, 

Alexander Moug, dean of guild. 
Robert Allardice, treasurer. 



John Lyon, hospital master. 

Robert Adam. 

John Knox. 

David Mather. 

Alexander Baillie. 

James Smith. 

Alexander Grim. 

Thomas Hill. 

Edward Leslie, 

John Adamson. 

James Smith. 
Heniy Cowie. 


James Shiress. 

John Knox, provost 

Robert Allardice and Charles 
Gordon, bailies. 


Robert Whjte, proTOst 

Alexander Baillie, dean of guild. 

James Cowie and David Windrem, 

John Molison, treasurer. 


John Lyon, hospital master. 

Alex. Baillie, dean of goild. 

James Knox. 

Robert Allardice, treasurer. 

John LiddelL 

John Lyon, hospital master. 

Robert Adam. 

John Knox. 

David Mather. 

Charles Gordon. 

James Smith. 

Robert Adam. 

Thomas HilL 

John Dancan. 

George Davidson. 

James Smith. 
William Shepherd. 


James Shiress. 

John Knox, provost 

.Tnhn \fn1iann jltiH Ohftrlafl Gordon 



John Knox, provost. 

Alexander Baillie, dean of guild. 

Robert Allardice and David Wind- 

James Knox, treasurer. 

rem, bailies. 

James Smith, hospital master. 

Alex. Baillie, dean of guild. 

Robert Alhirdice. 

Charles Gordon, treasurer. 

John Lyon. 

John Lyon, hospital master. 

Thomas Hill. 

John Windram. ' 

John LiddelL 

Robert Whyte. 

Robert Adam. 

Robert Adam. 

David Mather. 

John Duncan. 

George Davidson. 

James Smith. 
John Molison. 


John Adamson. 

John Knox, provost. 

.Tnhn Molisnn and Charles Gordon. 

John Knox, provost 
Robert Allardice and Charles 

Gk)rdon, bailies. 
Alexander Baillie, dean of guild. 
John Molison, treasurer. 
John Lyon, hospital master. 
James Knox. 
John Liddell. 

Edward Leslie, dean of guild. 
James Knox, treasurer. 
David Mather, hospital master. 
David Doig. 
James Camegy. 
Thomas Hill. 
John Low. 
Robert Adam. 



Johu LiddelL 
G. Davidson. 

David Doig, provost. 
John Molison and Edward Leslie, 

David Mather, dean of guild. 
James Knox, treasurer. 
John Low, hospital master. 
John Knox. 
David Young. 
Thomas Hill. 
James Camegy. 
Eobert Adam. 
Patrick Rennald. 
George Davidson. 

David Doig, provost 
John Molison and David Mather, 

Edward Leslie, dean of guild. 
James Knox, treasurer. 
John Low, hospital master. 
John Knox. 
Andrew Doig. 
Thomas HiU. 
Alexander Grim. 
Robert Adam. 
Homer Grierson. 
George Davidson. 

David Doig, provost. 
John Molison and Edward Leslie, 

David Mather, dean of guild. 
James Knox, treasurer. 
John Low, hospital master. 
John Knox. 
David Young. 
Thomas HiU. 
Alexander Grim. 
Robert Adam. 
Patrick Rennald. 
George Davidson. 

David Doig, provost. 
John Molison and Edward Leslie, 

David Mather, dean of guild. 
James Knox, treasurer. 
John Low, hospital master. 
John Knox. 
David Young. 
Thomas Hill. 
Alexander Grim. 
Robert Adam. 
Homer Grierson. 
George Davidson. 


David Doig, provost. 

John Molison and David Mather, 

Homer Grierson, dean of guild. 
James Knox, treasurer. 
John Low, hospital master. 
Edward Leslie. 
John Knox. 
Thomas Hill. 
Andrew Doig. 
Robert Adam. 
Alexander Grim. 
George Davidson. 

David Doig, provost. 
John Molison and David Mather, 

Homer Grierson, dean of guild. 
Andrew Doig, treasurer. 
John Low, hospital master. 
James Grim. 
Edward Leslie. 
Thomas Hill. 
John Knox. 
Robert Adam. 
Alexander Grim. 
George Davidson. 

1739, same as 1738. 



Councillors, 1740. 
John Molison. 
James Grun. 
David Mather. 
George Davidsoii. 
John Low. 
James Black. 
John Knox. 
A. Low, yr. 
Thomas HiU. 
D. Allardice. 
Robert Adam. 
James Camegy. 
John Lyon. 

Persons usurping the oflSce of 
Magistrates and Councillors, 
firom Michaelmas 1740 to Ist 
August 1741. 

David Doig, provost. 

Edward Leslie and Homer Grier- 
son, bailies. 

Wm. Shepherd, dean of guild. 

Andrew Doig, treasurer. 

John Smith, hospital master. 

Alexander Grim, elder. 

George Davidson. 

Wniiam BaiUie. 

James Doig. 

Alexander Grim, yr. 

David Doig, yr. 

Alexander Smith. 

Office-bearers, 5 th Aug. 1741. 
John Knox, provost. 
John Molison and David Mather, 

John Low, dean of guild. 
Alexander Low, treasurer. 
John Lyon, hospital master. 

Michaelmas 1741. 
John Knox, provostw 
Jn. Molison and Da. Mather, bailies. | 
John Low, dean of guild. 
Alexander Low^ treasurer. 
John Lyon, hospital master. 
Thomas Hill 

Robert Adam. 
James Black. 
James Grim. 
D. Alkrdice. 
William Lowson. 
James Carnegy. 

1742, same as 1741. 

John Knox, provost. 
John Molison and David Mather, 

John Low, dean of guild. 
Alexander Low, treasurer. 
James Carnegy, hospital master. 
John Lyon. 
Thomas HilL 
Robert Dorrat. 
Robert Adam. 
D. Allardice. 
William Lowson. 
James Black. 

John Knox, provost. 
John Molison and David Mather, 

John Low, dean of guild. 
Alexander Low, treasurer. 
James Carnegy, hospital master. 
John Lyon. 
Thomas Hill. 
Robert Dorrat. 
Robert Adam. 
James Black. 
J. Molison, yr. 
D. Allardice. 

Same as last year. 
Election of office-bearers inter- 
rupted by the rebels. 

26th June 1747. 
John Molison, provost 
John Low and David Allardice, 



John Lyon, elder, dean of guild. 
John Lyon, yr., treasurer. 
James Duncan, hospital master. 
John Knox, 
John Molisou, yr., 
David Mather, 
Alexander Baillie, 
J. Black, merchant councillors. 
G. Davidson, convener, and Robert 
Adam, trades' councillors. 

Michaelmas 1747. 
John Molison, provost. 
John Low and David Allardice, 

Jn. Lyon, elder, dean of guild. 
John Lyon, yr., treasurer. 
James Duncan, hospital master. 
John Knox, 
John Molison, yr., 
Alex. Low, 
Alex. Baillie, 

Ja. Blacky merchant councillors. 
Rt. Dorrat, convener, and Robert 

Adam, trades' councillors. 

1748, 1749, 1750, same as 1747. 


John Molison, provost 

Edward Leslie and David Allar- 
dice, bailies. 

John Lyon, elder, dean of guild. 

John Lyon, yr., treasurer. 

Ja. Duncan, hospital master. 

John Knox, 

J. Molison, yr., 

Alex. Low, 

A. Baillie, 

Alex. Durie, merchant councillors. 

R. Dorrat, convener, and Robert 
Adam, trades' councillors. 

John Molison, provost. 
E. Leslie and J. Molison, yr., bailies. 
John Lyon, elder, dean of guild. 
John Clark, treasurer. 

James Duncan, hospital master. 
David Molison, 
John Knox, 
Alex. Low, 
A. Baillie. 

Alex. Durie, merchant cooncilloim. 
Da. Shiress, convener, and Robert 
Adam, trades' councillors. 

1753, same as 1752. 

John Molison, provost. 
Edward LesUe and J. Molison^ yr. , 

J. Lyon, elder, dean of guild. 
John Clark, treasurer. 
James Duncan, hospital master. 
David Molison, 
Ja. Inveraiity, 
Alex. Low, 
Alex. Baillie, 

Alex. Durie, merchant councillors. 
Geo. Reid, convener, and Robert 

Adam, trades' councillors. 

John Molison, provost. 
Edward Leslie and J. Molison, yr., 

John Lyon, elder, dean of guild. 
John Clark, treasurer. 
Ja. Inverarity, hospital master. 
James Duncan, 
David Molison, 
Alex. Low, 
Alex. Baillie, 

Alex. Durie, merchant councillors. 
Geo. Reid, convener, and Robert 

Adam, trades' councillors. 

John Molison, provost. 
Edward Leslie and J. Molison, yr^ 

John Lyon, elder, dean of guild. 
John Clark, treasurer. 
James Inverarity, hospital master. 



James Duncan, 
David Molison, 
Alex. Low, 
Alex. Baillie, 

Alex. Dorie, merchant councillors. 
A. Wishart, convener, and Robert 
Adam, trades' councillors. 

John Molison, provost. 
Edward Leslie and J. Molison, yr., 

David Molison, dean of guild. 
John Clark, treasurer. 
Ja. Inverarity, hospital master. 
John Lyon, elder, 
Ja. Duncan, 
Alex. Low, 
Alex. Baillie, 

Alex. Durie, merchant councillors. 
A. Wishart, convener, and Robert 

Adam, trado^* councillors. 

John Molison, provost. 
Edward Leslie and J. Molison, yr., 

David Molison, dean of guild. 
John Clark, treasurer. 
Ja. Inverarity, hospital master. 
David Shiress, 
James Duncan, 
Alex. Low, 
Alex. Baillie, 

Alex. Durie, merchant councillors. 
A. Wishart, convener, and Robert 

Adam, trades' councillors. 

John Molison, provost 
Edward Leslie and J. MoUson, yr., 

David Molison, dean of guUd. 
John Clark, treasurer. 
Ja. Inverarity, hospital master. 
David Shiress, 
James Duncan, 
Alex. Low, 

Alex. Baillie, 

Alex. Durie, merchant councillors. 
J. Millar, yr., convener, and Robert 
Adam, trades' councillors. 

John Molison, provost. 
Edward Leslie and J. Molison, yr., 

David Molison, dean of guild. 
J. Clark, treasurer. 
Ja. Inverarity, hospital master. 
David Shiress, 
Ja. Duncan, 
Alex. Low, 
Alex. Baillie, 

Alex. Durie, merchant councillors. 
J. Millar, yr., convr., and Lauchlan 

Leslie, trades' councillors. 

Same as last year. 

John Molison, provost 
Edward Leslie and David Molison, 

J. Molison, yr., dean of guild. 
John Clark, treasurer. 
J. Inverarity, hospital master. 
David Shiress, 
Ja. Duncan, 
Alex. Low, 
Qeo. Reid, 

Alex. Durie, merchant councillors. 
R Langlands, convr., and Lauchlan 

Leslie, trades' councillors. 

1763, 1764, same as 1762. 

John Molison, provost. 
Da. Allardice and David Molison, 

J. Molison, yr., dean of guild. 
Jn. Clark, treasurer. 
Ja. Inverarity, hospital master. 
David Shiress, 



Ja. Duncan, 
Alex. Low, 
Geo. Reid, 

Alex. Dorie, merchant councillors. 
J. Millar, yr., convr., and Lauchlan 
Leslie, trades' councillors. 

John MoUson, yr., provost. 
David Allardice and David Moli- 

son, baUies. 
Alexander Low, dean of guild. 
John Clark, treasurer. 
Ja. Inverarity, hospital master. 
John Molison, 
David Shiress, » 
Ja. Duncan, 
Geo. Reid, 

Alex. Durie, merchant councillors. 
J. Millar, yr., convr., and Laucblan 

Leslie, trades' councillors. 

1767, same as 1766. 


John Molison, yr., provost. 

David Allardice and David Moli- 
son, bailies. 

Alexander Low, dean of guild. 

John Clark, treasurer. 

Ja. Inverarity, hospital master. 

John Molison, 

David Shiress, 

James Duncan, 

George Reid, 

Alex. Durie, merchant councillors. 

R. Langlands, convr., and Lauchlan 
Leslie, trades* councillors. 

John Molison, yr., provost. 
David Allardice and David Moli- 
son, bailies. 
Alex. Low, dean of guild. 
Jobn Clark, treasurer. 
Ja. Inverarity, hospital master. 
John Gourlay, 
David Shiress, 

James Duncan, 
George Reid, 

Alex. Durie, merchant conncillora. 
R. Langlands, convr., and TAnr>lil^|i 
Leslie, trades' councilloi& 

John Molison, provost. 
David Allardice and David Moli* 

son, bailies. 
Alex. Low, dean of guild. 
John Clark, treasurer. 
David Shiress, hospital master. 
John Mudie, 
William Cay, 
James Duncan, 
Geo. Reid, 

Alex. Durie, merchant coundllors. 
R Langlands, convr., and Lauchlan 

Leslie, trades' councillors. 

John Molison, provost. 
D. Allardice, elder, and John 

Clark, bailies. 
Alex. Low, dean of guild. 
Alex. Durie, treasurer. 
David Shiress, hospital master. 
D. Allardice, yr.) 
J. Duncan, 
John Mudie, 
Geo. Reid, 

Wm. Cay, merchant councillors. 
John Moug, convr., and Lauchlan 

Leslie, trades' councillors. 

1772, 1773, same as 1771. 

John Molison, provost 
D. Allardice, elder, and John 

Clark, bailies. 
Alex. Low, dean of guild. 
John Mudie, treasurer. 
William Cay, hospital master. 
A. Durie, 
J. Duncan, 
D. Shiress, 



Geo. Beid, 

D. Allardice, jr., mer. councillors. 
A. Wishart, convenery and David 
Lyon, trades' councillors. 

Colin Smith, conyr.^ and Lauchlan 
Leslie, trades' councillors. 

John Molison, provost. 
D. Allardice, elder, and John 

Claris, baUies. 
Alex. Low, dean of guild. 
John Mudie, treasurer. 
William Cay, hospital master. 
A. Durie, 
J. Duncan, 
D. Shiress, 
Qeo. Reid, 

D. Allardice, jT,y mer. councillors. 
A. Mitchell, convener, and David 

Lyon, trades' councillors. 

John Molison, provost 
D. Allardice, elder, and John 

Clark, bailies. 
Alex. Low, dean of guild. 
John Mudie, treasurer. 
William Cay, hospital master. 
A Durie, 
J. Duncan, 
D. Shiress, 
Qeo. Reid, 

D. Allardice, yr., mer. councillors. 
A. Mitchell, convr., and Lauchlan 

Leslie, tiades' councillors. 


John Molison, provost 

D. Allardice, elder, and John 
dark, bailies. 

Alex. Low, dean of guild. 

John Mudie, treasurer. 

William Cay, hospital master. 

A. Durie, 

J. Duncan, 

D. Shiress, 

Qeo. Reid, 

D. Allardice, yr., merchant coun- 

1778, same as 1777. 


John Molison, provost. 

D. Allardice, elder, and John 
Clark, bailies. 

Alex. Low, dean of guild. 

John Mudie, treasurer. 

William Cay, hospital master. 

A. Durie, 

A Durie, yr., 

D. ShiresSj 

Geo. Reid, 

D. Allardice, yr., mer. councillors. 

Colin Smith, convener, and Lauch- 
lan Leslie, trades' councillors. 


John Molison, provost. 

D. Allardice, elder, and John 
Clark, bailies. 

Alex. Low, dean of guild. 

John Mudie, treasurer. 

William Cay, hospital master. 

A Durie, 

A. Durie, yr., 

David Shiress, 

George Reid, 

D. Allardice, yr., mer. councillors. 

J. Millar, elder, convener ; Lauch- 
lan Leslie, trades* councillors. 

1781, 1782, same as 1780. 

John Molison, provost. 
D. Allardice, elder, and John Clark, 

A. Durie, elder, dean of guild. 
John Mudie, treasurer. 
William Cay, hospital master. 
D. Guthrie, 
A. Durie, yr., 
D. Shiress, 
George Reid, 



D. Allardice, yr., mer. councillors. 

Colin Smith, convener, and Lauch- 

Ian LcBlie, trades* councillors. 

John Molison, provost. 
John Clark and John Smith, elder, 

A. Durie, elder, dean of guild. 
John Mudie, treasurer. 
William Cay, hospital master. 
D. Guthrie, 
A. Durie, yr., 
D. Shiress, 
G. Reid, 

D. AUardice, yr., mer. councillors. 
Colin Smith, convener, and Lauch- 

Ian Leslie, trades' councillors. 

1785, same as 1784. 

John Molison, provost 
John Clark and John Smith, 

A. Durie, dean of guild. 
John Mudie, treasurer. 
William Cay, hospital master. 
D. Guthrie, 
A. Durie, yr., 
D. Shiress, 
George Reid, 

D. Allardice, mer. councillors. 
J. Soutter, convener, and Lauch- 

lan Leslie, trades' councillors. 

1787, same as 1786. 

John Molison, provost 
John Smith and Wm. Cay, bailiea 
A Durie, elder, dean of guild. 
David Guthrie, treasurer. 
James Smith, hospital master. 
Thomas Molison, 
A. Durie, yr., 
D. Shiress, 
George Reid, 

D. Allardice, mer. coundllora. 
Geo. Millar, convener, and Laach- 
Ian Leslie, trades' councillors. 

John Smith, provost. 
Wm. Cay and Thomas Molison, 

A. Durie, elder, dean of guild. 
David Guthrie, treasurer. 
James Smith, hospital master. 
Colin Gillies, 
A. Durie, yr., 
D. Shiress, 
George Reid, 

D. Allardice, mer. councillors. 
Gko. Millar, convener, and Lauch- 

lan Leslie, trades* councillors. 

John Smith, provost. 
Wm. Cay and Thomas Molison, 

A. Durie, elder, dean of guild, 
David Guthrie, treasurer. 
James Smith, hospital master. 

C. Gillies, 

A. Durie, yr., 

D. Shiress, 
George Reid, 

Alex. Mitchell, mer. councillors. 
Gko. Millar, convener, and Lauch- 
Ian Leslie, trades' councillors. 

John Smith, provost 
Wm. Cay and Thomas Molison, 

A. Durie, elder, dean of guild. 
David Guthrie, treasurer. 
James Smith, hospital master. 

C. Gillies, 

A. Durie, yr., 

D. Shiress, 
George Reid, 

Alex. Mitchell, mer. coundUors. 
Charles Belford, convener, and 
L. Leslie, trades' couneilloft. 



John Smith, provost 
Wm. Cay and Thomas Moliaon, 

A. Durie, yr. dean of guild. 
David Quthrie, treasurer. 
J. Smith, hospital master. 
A. Dune, elder, 
A. Mitchell, 

C. GilUes, 
George Beid, 

D. Shiress, merchant councillors. 
C. Belford, convener, Lauchlan 

Leslie, trades' councillors. 

1793, same as 1792. 

John Smith, provost. 
Wm. Cay and Thomas Molison, 

A. Durie, yr., dean of guild. 
David Guthrie, treasurer. 
Ja. Smith, hospital master. 
Au Durie, elder, 
A. Mitchell, 
C. GilUes, 
Geo. Reid, 

Ja. Reid, merchant councillora 
R. Millar, convener, and Lauchlan 

Leslie, trades* councillors. 

John Smith, provost. 
Wm. Cay and Thomas Molison, 

A. Durie, yr., dean of guild. 
David Guthrie, treasurer. 
Ja. Smith, hospital master. 
A. Durie, elder, 
A. Mitchell, 
C. GUlies, 
Geo. Reid, 

J. Reid, merchant councillors. 
R. Millar, convener, and James 

Leslie, trades' coonciUora. 


John Smith, provost. 

Wm. Cay and Thomas Molison, 

A. Durie, dean of guild. 

David Guthrie, treasurer. 

James Smith, hospital master. 

William Shiress, 

A. Mitchell, 

C. GiUies, 

G^eorge Reid, 

J& Reid, merchant councillors. 

H. Millar, yr., convener, and 
James Leslie, trades' council- 

1798, same as 1797. 

John Smith, provost 
Thos. Molison and David Guthrie, 

A. Durie, dean of gujld. 
James Smith, treasurer. 
Alex. Mitchell, hospital master. 
David Don, 
J. Reid, 
W. Shiress, 
Geo. Reid, 

C. Gillies, merchant councillors. 
R. Millar, convener, and James 

Leslie, trades' councillors. 

1796, same as 1795. 

Thomas Molison, provost 
David Guthrie and James Smith, 

A. Durie, dean of guild. 
A. Mitchell, treasurer. 
James Reid, hospital master. 
David Don, 
C. Gillies, 
Ja. Watson, 
George Reid, 

Wm. Shixess, mer. councillors. 
R. MiUar, convener, and James 

Leslie, trades' councillors. 



1801, 1802, same as 1800. 

Thomas Molison, provost 
David Qathrie and Alex. Mitchell, 

A. Darie, dean of guild. 
David Don, treasurer. 
James Reid, hospital master. 
James Smith, 

C. Gillies, 
J. Watson, 
George Reid, 

Wm. Shireas, mer. councillors. 

D. Mitchell, convener, and James 
Leslie, trades' councillors. 

Thomas Molison, provost. 
David Guthrie and Alex. Mitchell, 

A. Durie, dean of guild. 
David Don, treasurer. 
James Reic^ hospital master. 
J. Smith, 

C. GiUies, 
J. Watson, 
Jo. Martin, 

W. Shiress, merchant ooundilors. 

D. Mitchell, convener, and James 
Leslie, trades' councillors. 

1805, same as 1804. 

Thomas Molison, provost. 
D. Guthrie and Alex. Mitchell, 

A. Durie, dean of guild. 
David Don, treasurer. 
James Reid, hospital master. 
J. Smith, 

C. GiUies, 
J. Watson, 
John Martin, 

W. Shiress, merchant councillors. 

D. Shiress, convener, and James 
Leslie, trades* councillors. 

1807, 1808, same as 1806. 

Thomas Molison, provost. 
D. Guthrie and Alex. Mitchell, 

A. Durie, dean of guild. 
David Don, treasurer. 
J. Reid, hospital master. 
J. Smith, 

C. GiUies, 
James Watson, 
Jo. Martin, 

W. Shiress, merchant counciUora. 

D. MitcheU, convener, and James 
LesUe, trades' counciUors. 

1810, 1811, same as 1809. 

Thomas Molison, provost. 
D. Guthrie and A. Mitchell, 

A. Durie, dean of guild. 
David Don, treasurer. 
James Reid, hospital master. 
Jo. Guthrie, 
C. Gmies, 
J. Watson, 
Jo. Martin, 

W. Shiress, merchant councillors. 
G. Fotheringham, convener, and 

James Lesdie, trades' counciUors. 

Thomas Molison, provost. 
D. Guthrie and Alex. Mitchell, 

David Don, dean of guild. 
John Guthrie, treasurer. 
James Reid, hospital master. • 
A. Durie, 

C. Gmies, 
J. Watson, 
So, Martin, 

W. Shiress, merchant counciUors. 

D. Mitchell, convener, and James 
LesUe, tiades' counciUors. 



Thomas Molison, provost. 
Dayid Qathrie and Alex. Mitchell, 

David Don, dean of guild. 
John Outhrie, treasurer. 
James Reid, hospital master. 
A. Durie, yr., 
C. GiUies, 
J. Watson, 
Jo. Martin, 

W. Shiress, merchant councillors. 
G. Fotheringham, convener, and 

James Leslie, trades* councillors. 

David Guthrie, provost. 
Alex. Mitchell and David Don, 

Colin Gillies, dean of guild. 
John Guthrie, treasurer. 
James Speid, hospital master. 
James Reid, 
W. Shiress, 
A. Durie, yr., 
Jo. Martin, 

J. Watson, merchant councillors. 
G. Fotheringham, convener, and 

James Leslie, trades' councillors. 

David Guthrie, provost 
A. Mitchell and Dav. Don, bailies. 
Colin GiUies, dean of guild. 
John Guthrie, treasurer. 
James Speid, hospital master. 
James Beid, 
W. Shiress, 
D. Guthrie, yr., 
Jo. Martin, 

J. Watson, merchant councillors. 
D. Mitchell, convener, and James 
Leslie, trades' councillors. 

1817, same as 1816. 

David Guthrie, provost. 

David Don and Jas. Speid, bailies. 

Colin Gillies, dean of guild. 

John Guthrie, treasurer. 

Jo. Martin, hospital master. 

A. Mitchell, 

J. Watson, 

J. Reid, 

W. Shiress, 

D. Guthrie, yr., merchant council- 

D. Mitchell, convener, and James 
Leslie, trades' councillors. 


David Guthrie, provost. 

James Speid and David Reid 

Colin Gillies, dean of guild. 

John Guthrie, treasurer. 

John Martin, hospital master. 

A. Mitchell, 

John Smith, 

David Don, 

Ja. Reid, 

D. Guthrie, yr., merchant council- 

J. Mathers, convener, and James 
Leslie, trades' councillors. 

Colin Gillies, provost. 
James Speid and John Guthrie, 

William Baillie, dean of guild. 
David Guthrie, treasurer. 
John Smith, hospital master. 
J. Martin. 
James Pennycook. 
Alex. Guthrie. 
William Robb. 
Charles Fettes. 

John Mathers, deacon convener. 
David Shiress, trades' councillor. 

1821, same as 1820. 

Colin Gillies, provost 




James Speid and John Quthrie, 

Colin Bickard, dean of guild. 
David Quthrie, treasurer. 
John Smith, hospital master. 
John Martin. 
Alex. Quthrie. 
J. Pennycook. 
William Robb. 
Charles Fettea 
James Low, deacon convener. 
Wm. Qrim, trades' councillor. 

James Speid, provost 
John Quthrie and Alex. Mitchell, 

Colin Bickard, dean of guild. 
David Guthrie, treasurer. 
John Smith, hospital master. 
Jo. Martin. 
Alex. Quthrie. 
J. Pennycook. 
William Robb. 
Charles Fettes. 
James Low, deacon convener. 
Wm. Qrim, trades' councillor. 

James Speid, provost. 
Jo. Quthrie and Alex. Mitchell, 

David M'Kenzie, dean of guild. 
David Quthrie, treasurer. 
John Smith, hospital master. 
Jo. Martin. 
Alexander Guthrie. 
J. Pennycook. 
William Robb. 
Charles Fettea 
James Low, deacon convener. 
Robert Craig, trades' councillor. 

James Speid, provost 
John Guthrie and A. Mitchell, 

David M'Kenzie, dean of guild. 

David Quthrie, treasurer. 

John Smith, hospital master. 

John Martin. 

Charles Fettes. 

David Ogilvy. 

David Dakers. 

Alexander Guthrie. 

Ja. Ramsay, jun., deacon convener. 

Robert Ciaig, trades' councillor. 

James Speid, provost 
John Quthrie and David Ogilvy, 

Alex. M'Einlay, dean of guild. 
David Quthrie, treasurer. 
John Smith, hospital master. 
A. Mitchell. 
Jo. Martin. 
Alex. Quthrie. 
Charles Fettes. 
David Dakers. 

Ja. Ramsay, jun., deacon convener. 
John Mathers, trades' councillor. 

1827, same as 1826. 

James Speid, provost. 
David Ogilvy and David Quthrie, 

James Watson, jun., dean of guild. 
Alex. M'Einlay, treasurer. 
Jo. Smith, hospital master. 
Alex. Mitchell 
John Martin. 
Alex. Quthrie. 
Charles Fettes. 
James Douglas. 
James Low, deacon convener. 
Alex. Craig, trades' councillor. 

James Speid, provost 
David Ogilvy and David Quthrie, 

Ja. Watson, Jan., dean of guild. 
Alex. M'Kiiilay, treasurer. 



Jo. Smith, hospital master. 

Alex. Mitchell 

John MartiiL 

Alex. Qathrie. 

Charles Fettes. 

James Douglas. 

James Low, deacon convener. 

John Todd, trades* councillor. 

8th July 1830. 
David Shepherd, councillor, vice 
A. Mitchell, deceased. 

Michaelmas 1830. 

James Speid, provost. 

David Guthrie and John Smith, 

David Dakers, dean of guild. 
Alex. M'Kinlay, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
John Martin. 
Charles Fettes. 
Ja. Douglas. 
D. Shepherd. 
J. Watson, jnn. 

William Grim, deacon convener. 
John Todd, trades' councillor. 

29th April 1831. 
Alexander Black, coimcillor, vice 
C. Fettes, deceased. 

Michaelmas 1831. 
James Speid, provost 
David Guthrie and John Smith, 

David Dakers, dean of guild. 
Alex. M'Einlay, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
John Martin. 
James Douglas. 
Da. Shepherd. 
J. Watson, jun. 
Alexander Black. 
Wm. Grim, deacon convener. 
Ja. Belfordi trades' councillor. 

James Speid, provost 

David Guthrie and John Smith, 

David Lamb, dean of guild. 
Alex. M^Kinlay, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
John Martin. 
James Douglas. 
Da. Shepherd. 
J. Watson, jun. 
Alexander Black. 
Wm. Grim, deacon convener. 
Ja. Belford, trades' councillor 

November 1833. 
James Speid, provost 
David Dakers and Wm. Sharpe, 

Thos. Ogilvy, dean of guild. 
James Millar, treasurer. 
R. M'Kenzie, hospital master. 
David Guthria 
James Laing. 
Wm. Shiress. 
David Lamb. 
Alex. Guthrie. 
David Craig. 
Alexander Mather. 

James Speid, provost. 
David Dakers and Wm. Sharpe, 

Thomas Ogilvy, dean of guild. 
James Millar, treasurer. 
Robert M'Kenzie, hospital master. 
David Guthrie. 
James Laing. 
Wm. Shiress. 
David Lamb. 
Alex. Guthrie. 
David Craig. 
James Baxter. 

James Speid, provost 
David Guthrie and Wm. Sharpe, 

David Lamb, dean of guild. 



James Millar, treasurer. 

Robert M'Kenzie, huspital master. 

James Lalng. 

Alexander Guthrie. 

David Craig. 

James Baxter. 

William Gordon. 

David Mitchell 

Robert Don. 

6th June 1836. 

James Hood, John Speid, council- 
lors, vice James Speid and 
James Laing, resigned ; David 
Guthrie, provost. 

13th June. 

David Lamb, senior bailie. 
20th June. 

James Baxter, dean of guild. 

November 1836. 
David Guthrie, provosts 
David Lamb and Wm. Sharpe, 

James Baxter, dean of guild. 
James Millar, treasurer. 
R. M'Kenzie, hospital master, 
Alex. Guthrie. 
David Craig. 
Wm. (Jordon. 
David Mitchell 
Robert Don. 
James Hood. 
John Speid. 

8th May 1837. 
Robert Welsh, David Guthrie, jun., 

councillors, vice David Lamb 

and William Sharpe. 
James Millar and Robert Welsh, 


13th May. 
David Craig, treasurer. 

November 1837. 
David Guthrie, provost 
James Millar and Robert W^h, 

James Baxter, dean of guild. 
David Craig, treasurer. 

Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 

Wm. Gordon. 

David Mitchell. 

Robert Don. 

James Hood. 

John Speid. 

D. Guthrie, jun. 

Alex. Mather. 

David Guthrie, provost 
James Millar and Robert Welsh, 

James Baxter, dean of guild. 
David Craig, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
Ja. Hood. 
John Speid. 
D. Guthrie, jun. 
Wm. Duncan. 
David Mitchell. 
Robert Don. 
William Gordon. 

David Guthrie, provost. 
James Hood and Robert Webh, 

William Duncan, dean of guild. 
David Craig, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
David Guthrie, yr. 
David MitchelL 
Robert Don. 
William Gordon. 
James Shepherd. 
James Baxter. 
Colin Rickard. 

David Guthrie, provost 
James Hood and Robert Welsh, 

William Duncan, dean of guild. 
David Craig, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
David MitchelL 
Robert Don. 



William Gordon. 
James Shepherd. 
James Baxter. 
Colin Rickard. 
David Quthrie, yr. 

David Gnthrie, provost 
James Hood and Robert Welsh, 

William Dnncan, dean of guild. 
David Craig, treasurer. 
Alex. Ouihne, hospital master. 
James Shepherd. 
James Baxter. 
Colin Rickard. 
David Guthrie, yr. 
David Mitchell 
William Gordon. 
Robert Don. 

David Guthrie, provost 
James Hood and Robert Welsh, 

William Duncan, dean of guild. 
David Craig, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
David Guthrie, yr. 
William Gordon. 
Robert Don. 
David MitcheU. 
Patrick Guthrie. 
James Baxter. 
James Scott. 

David Guthrie, provost 
James Hood and William Duncan, 

James Scott, dean of guild. 
David Craig, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
David Guthrie, yr. 
William Gtordon. 
Robert Don. 
David Mitchell. 
Patrick Guthrie. 

James Baxter. 
George Reid. 

David Guthrie, provost 
James Hood and Wm. Duncan, 

James Scott, dean of guild. 
David Craig, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
David Guthrie, yr. 
William €k>rdon. 
Robert Don. 
Patrick Guthrie. 
James Baxter. 
George Reid 
John Don. 

• 1845. 
David Guthrie, provost 
James Hood and William Duncan, 

James Scott, dean of guild. 
David Craig, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
David Guthrie, yr. 
William Gordon. 
Robert Don. 
George Reid. 
John Don. 
Patrick Guthrie. 
James Baxter. 

David Guthrie, provost 
Wm. Duncan and David Craig; 

James Scott, dean of guild. 
George Reid, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
William Gordon. 
Robert Don. 
John Don. 
Patrick Guthrie. 
James Baxter. 
David Guthrie, yr. 
George Anderson. 



David Guthrie, provost. 
Wm. Duncan and David Craig, 

James Scott, dean of guild. 
George Reid, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
Patrick Guthrie. 
James Baxter. 
David Guthrie, yr. 
George Anderson. 
William Gordon. 
Robert Don. 
John Don. 

David Guthrie, provost. 
W. Duncan and D. Craig, bailies. 
David Guthrie, yr., dean of guild. 
George Reid, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
George Anderson. 
William Gordon. 
Robert Don. 
John Don. 
Patrick Guthrie. 
James Scott. 
Charles Mitchell 

David Guthrie, provost. 
David Craig and George Reid, 

David Guthrie, yr., dean of guild. 
John Don, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
William Gordon. 
Robert Don. 
Patrick Guthrie. 
James Scott. 
Chas. MitcheU. 
William Blackball. 
John Wilson. 

David Guthrie, provost. 
David Craig and George Reid,. 

David Guthrie, yr., dean of guild. 

John Don, treasurer. 

Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 

William Gordon. 

Robert Don. 

Patrick Guthrie. 

James Scott. 

Chas. Mitchell 

William BhickhalL 

John Wilson. 

David Guthrie, provost. 
David Craig and George Rciii, 

David Guthrie, yr., dean of guild. 
John Don, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
William Gordon. 
Robert Don. 
WiUiam BlackhaU. 
John Wilson. 
Patrick Guthrie. 
James Scott 
Michael Ferrier. 

David Guthrie, provost. 
David Craig and George Reid, 

David Guthrie, yr., dean of guild. 
John Don, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hospital master. 
William Gordon. 
Robert Don. 
John Wilson. 
Patrick Guthrie. 
James Scott. 
Michael Feirier. 
James Greig, 

David Guthrie, provost 
David Craig and George Reid, 

David Guthrie, yr., dean of guild. 
John Don, treasurer. 
Alex. Guthrie, hos])ital master. 



Patrick Outhrie. 
James Scott 
Michael Ferrier. 
James Oreig. 
William Black. 
William Qordon. 
James F. Jack. 

David Outhrie, provost. 
Wm. Duncan and Qeorge Reid, 

James P. Jack, dean of guild. 
John Don, treasurer. 
James Greig, hospital master. 
William Black. 
William (Gordon. 
Michael Ferrier. 
Charles Will. 
James Fairweather. 
William Anderson. 
Alex. Guthrie. 

David Guthrie, provost. 
Wm. Duncan and Wm. Anderson, 

James P. Jack, dean of guild. 
John Don, treasurer. 
Charles Will, hospital master. 
William Black. 
William Gordon. 
Michael Ferrier. 
James Fairweather. 
Alex. Guthrie. 
William Davidson. 
Joseph Hendry. 

David Guthrie, provost 
Wm. Duncan and Wm Anderson, 

William Davidson, dean of guild. 
John Don, treasurer. 
Chas. Will, hospital master. 
Michael Ferrier. 
James Fairweather. 
Alex. Guthrie. 

Joseph Hendry. 
WiUiam Black. 
James L. Gordon. 
David Scott 

David Guthrie, provost. 
Wm. Duncan and Wm. Anderson, 
' bailies. 

William Davidson, dean of guild. 
John Don, treasurer. 
Charles Will, hospital master. 
Alex. Guthrie. 
Joseph Hendry. 
William Black. 
James L. Gk)rdon. 
David Scott 
Michael Ferrier. 
James Fairweather. 

David Guthrie, provost. 
Wm. Duncan and Wm. Anderson, 

William Davidson, dean of guild. 
John Don, treasurer. 
Charles Will, hospital master. 
William Black. 
James L. Gordon. 
David Scott. 
Michael Ferrier. 
James Fairweather. 
Charles Mitchell, jr. 
Hunter Mather. 

David Guthrie, provost. 
Wm. Duncan and Jo. Don, bailies. 
William Davidson, dean of guild. 
Charles Will, treasurer. 
Hunter Mather, hospital master. 
Michael Ferrier. 
James Fairweather. 
Charles MitcheU, jr. 
James L. Gordon. 
James Guthrie. 
George C. Scott. 
William Black. 



David Guthrie, provost. 
William Duncan and John Don, 

William Davidson, dean of guild. 
Charles AVill, treasurer. 
Hunter Mather, hospital master. 
Charles Mitchell, jr. 
James L. Gordon. 
James Guthrie. 
George C. Scott 
William Black. 
John Lamb. 
James Middleton. 

David Guthrie, provost. 
William Duncan and John Don, 

William Davidson, dean of guild. 
Charles Will, treasurer. 
Hunter Mather, hospital master. 
James L. Gordon. 
James Guthrie. 
George C. Scott. 
William Black. 
John Lamb. 
James Middleton. 
Charles MitcheU, jr. 

David Guthrie, provost. 
Charles Will and Wm. Davidson, 

James L. Gordon, dean of guild. 
James Middleton, treasurer. 
Hunter Mather, hospital master. 
John Lamb. 
Charles Mitchell, jr. 
James Guthrie. 
David Scott 

David Craig. 
Wniiam Whitson. 
John Davidson. 


David Guthrie, provost 

Wm. Whitson and Wm. Davidson, 

James L. Gordon, dean of guild. 
James Middleton, treasurer. 
Hunter Mather, hospital master. 
Charles Mitchell, jr. 
James Guthrie. 
David Scott. 
David Craig. 
John Guthrie. 
John Lamb. 
WiUiam Black. 

13th July 1864. 

Alexander Guthne, elected pro- 
vost, in room of David Guthrie, 

David Craig, bailie, in room of 
William Whitson, resigned. 

William Black, dean of guild, in 
room of J. L. Gordon, resigned. 

17 th August 

Charles Mitchell, elected junior 
Bailie, in room of William Da- 
vidson, resigned. 

John Guthrie, town treasurer, in 
room of James Middleton, re- 

John Dakers, hospital master, in 
room of Hunter Mather, re- 

31 St August 

John Burnett, elected bailie, in 
room of Charles Mitchell, who 
declined to accept the office. 



No. IX. 

PARISH of BRECHIN, on Averages of Ten Years from 
1780 to 1837 inclusive, with instances in Good and Bad 
Seasons ; constructed by the late David Leighton, Esq. of 
Bearhill, from information collected by the Committee on the 
State of the Poor, 1838. 





1810-1819 2 
1820—1829 2 
1830-1837 2 
Good ( 1798 2 
croM \ 182212 
Bad j 1800^2 
Giopi \ 1826j2 

d. 9. €U «. 

5fi0 9S0 
9«,1 3|1 
8»1 lljl 

9 i2 6|1 








8 1 



s. d. 

■ • • 

10 6 




£8 to 10 
£10 to 24 
£14 to 20 

£S to 14 

c 5 




£4 to £5 
£5 to £6 101 
£6 to £7 
£5 to £6 

£9 to 15 £7 to £10 


f. M. 

25 to 35 
40 to SO 
40 to 60 
35 to 60 
^ thxeave 
# do. 

C3 S 


30 to 50 

30 to 60 

30 to 40 

^ threave 








of FORFAR, compared with the WAGES of LABOUR in 
the PARISH of BRECHIN, on Averages of Periods of Ten 
Years, from 1780 to 1837 inclusive, with Instances of Good 
and Bad Crops, constructed by the late David Leiohton, 
Esq. of Bearhill, from Tables of Fiars Prices framed by the 
late Mr David Dakbbs of Brechin, and information as to 
Wages, gathered from various sources, by the Committee 
appointed to Examine into and Report on the State of tlie 
Poor in Brechin Parish, 1838. 



Equal to Day's Waobb or 






«. d. 

14 0«. 
17 4^ 
23 51 
22 5«.« 
17 10».> 
16 2*. 

15 2» 
14 8 
27 5 















1700 1799 


1810 1819 


ISSO 1887 

^ . « (17M 

Good Crop. |j^^5 

_ . _ (1800 

B«dCrop. \{l^ 



Corrigendum: Since pages 56 and 57 were thrown off, the Right 
Honourable the Earl of Southesk has ascertained that his prede- 
cessor Earl James died in 1730 ; so that it was not Sir John 
Carnegie, who then became head of the family, but Sir James 
Carnegie, the son of Sir John. 


Abe, John, 5. 

Aberdeen, (S, 30, 88, 52, 60, 164. 

Aberlemno, 12, 268. 

Abernethy, 240, 248. 

Adam, Bushop of Brechin, 19. 

Adicate, 29. 

AdvtHiaer, Brechin, 197, 221, 270. 

iEeica, 13. 

African Company, 110. 

Agricola, 13. 

Agricultural Aaaociation, 187. 

Apiculture of Parish, 258. 

AirUe, Lord, 71, 282. 

Airlie Street, 264. 

Airlie*B Qreen, 282. 

Albert) Prince, 228. 

Albin, Bishop of Brechin, 17. 

Aldbar, 49, 78, 133, 163, 221. 

Ale, Ordinary, to be drunk, 120. 

Alexander II., 5, 17. 

Alexander III., 17. 

Alexander, Qeoige, 184, 227. 

Algerine Prisoners, 99. 

Allardice, James, 148. 

Andrews, Saint> 56. 

Anglesey, Island uf, 8. 

Angus Burghs, 30. 

Ann, Saint, 50. 

Ann, Queen, 150. 

Arbroath, 5, 19, 30, 41, 46, 57, 76, 84, 

88, 125, 204. 
Arbroath Road, 199, 216. 
Arbuthnot, 88. 

Arbuthnott, Camegy. See Camegy. 
Ardmore, Tower of, 251. 
Ardoch, 29. 
Ardovie, 254. 

Argyle, £arl, 39 ; Marquis, 66. 
Arms of Warfare, 94, 97, 101, 172. 

„ Heraldic, 124, 285. 
Arrat, 50. 

Asylum, Montroee Lunatic, 164. 
Assessments on Buigh, 30, 37, 276. 

„ ParochuJ, 226. 

Athole, Earl of, 22. 
Augustinian Monks, 6. 
Authors, 134, 137, 288. 

Bailie Court. See Courts. 

Bailies, Mode of Electing, 61, 65, 82, 

92, 112, 127. 
Baillie, General, 67. 
Bakers, 58, 60, 97. 
Balbegno, 96. 
Balbimie, 32. 
Balfeich, 51. 
Baliol, King, 19. 
Ballownie's House, 282. 
Balloon Tytler, 175. 
Balls, Dancing, 199. 
Bakiabriech, 32. 

Bahiamoon, 26, 28, 147. See Carnegy. 
Balyeontie, 26, 64, 126. 
Bank Street, 221, 279 ; School, 221. 
Banking Establishments, 158, 168, 269. 
Bannatyue, John, 50. 
Banns, Proclamation of, 183. 
Barley Flour, 269. 
BarrelweU, 9, 14, 258. 
Barriers Bum, 266. 
Baths, 226. 
BatUedikes, 13. 

Battles, 12, 13, 27, 56, 94, 105, 146. 
Baxter, John, 238. 
Bede House, 43. 
Beggars, 69, 196. 
Bells, 24, 64, 119, 161, 165, 183, 190, 

Bcllie, Thomas, Trial of, 53. 
Benevolent Societies, 281. 
Berkley, Alexander de, 19 ; David dv, 

20; stall, 51. 



Bible Sitciety, 280. 

Bible for Church, 128. 

BilliDgB, R. W., 237, 238. 

BiBhopB. Ste Church and Appendix 

Bishop's Close, 25, 42, 182, 156, 172, 

Black Bull Close, 50, 282, 289. 
Black's Mortification, 280. 
Blacksmith, Lindsay, hereditary, 

Blaii^, Rev. Mr, 148, 152. 
Blawart Lap, 14. 
Bleachfield, 113, 137, 180, 204, 222, 

271, 277. 
Bleaching-greens, 204. 
Board of Health, 199. 
Bcece, Hector, 3. 
Ik^dike, 34. 
Bonnetmakers, 56. 
Bonnyton, 40. 
Bothers, 24, 29. 
Bothwell Bridge, Battle of, 94. 
Boundaries, Parliamentary, 265. 
Boiuxl of Brechin, 47. 
Bow Butts, 120. 
Bowick, James, 192, 196. 
Bowl, Punch, 168. 
Bowling Club, 228, 281. 
Boys, Dress of, 167. 
Books, Price of, 76. 
BrachtuUo, 16. 
Branks, witches, 76. 
Bread, 269. 

Brtchin Advertiser, 197, 221, 270. 
Brechin in 1680, 285. 

„ Burgh, description of, 268. 

Burning of, 11, 87. 

Castle, 8, 18, 19, 47, 54, 69, 
108, 158, 286. 

City Boundaries, Parliament- 
ary, 265. 

Sir David de, 19. 

Derivation of name, 8. 

Henry de, 16, 1 7. 

LitUe, 137. 

Lordship of, 87. 

Origin of, 1. 

Parish, 258. 

See of, 6, 41. Vide 


WUUam de, 16, 17, 255. 
Brecon, in Wales, 11. 
Breicb, in county of Linlithgow, 

Brewers, 274. 

Bridge of Brechin, 69, 98, 164. 
„ Cemetery, 226. 
„ Finhaven, 161. 
Idvie, 99. 









Bridge of Montrose, 167. 
„ Proesin, 99. 
„ Stannochy, 192. 
„ Water Esk, 99. 
„ Street, 206, 208, 268, 279. 
British Linen Company Bank, 168^ 

Broichan, a Druid, 8. 
Broomley, Lands of, 21. 
Brougham, Lord, 205. 
Bruce, King Robert, 172. 
Buchan, 12. 

Buchanan, George, 13, 18, 44. 
Buckler Stane, 14. 
Building Warrants, 193. 
Buj-gage-holding, 265. 
Bui^geases, 96, 276. 
BurgeoB-tickets, 138. 
Buighfl, Royal Constitution of, 1. 

„ Convention of, 2. 

„ Courts, 120, 277. 
Burgh Reform, 188, 204. 

„ School, 201. 

„ Session, 72. 
Burghill, Burkhill, or Buiteff;ill, 10, 
32, 48, 158. 258. 

„ Fountains, 222, 224, 227. 
Bums, David, 221. 

„ Robert, 227. 
Bumess, Baker Poet, 176. 
Burning of Brechin, 11, 87. 
Bursary, 81, 104, 279, 280. 
Butcher Trade, 198. 

„ Market, 132, 156, 269. 
Butter, 269. 

„ Market, 235. 
Burying Places, 50, 124, 261, 

Cadger Hillock, 208, 268. 

„ Wynd, 205, 268. 
Caimbank, 24, 27. 
Caimcrofls, Bishop, 96, 320. 
Caithness, See of, 6. 
Caldhame, 50, 52, 226, 264, 266. 
Caledonia, 9, 18. 
Cambridge, Duke of, 228. 
Camus and Camiston Cross, 12. 
Campbell, Alex., Bishop, 314. 
Campbell, Donald, Bishop, 818. 
Camus, 159. 

Canute of Denmark, 12. 
Carcary, 31. House, 185. 
Carnegie, Lands of, 66. 
Camegy Arbuthnott, of Balnamoon, 

27, 145, 147, 160. 
Camegy, of Cookston, 109, 110. 

Sir David, 164, 168, 170, 173. 

Sir James, 217, 220. 

James, Poet, 184. 
.. Ltdy, 220. 





Carnegy, of Kinnaird. See Southesk. 

„ of Pitarrow, 66. 
CarnouBiie, 12. 
Carnoth, John, Bishop, 28, 25, 50, 253, 

CaptainB of Town, 102. 
Caresion, 87, 258. 
Carpenters, 190, 268. 
Carriers, 284. 
Carron, 159. 

Castle. See Brechin CasUe. 
Castle Street, 264. 
Caterthun, 9, 14, 25. 
Cathedral. Su Church. 
Cattiscors, 49. 

Cattle Markets. 8u Markets. 
Causewayed Streets, 208. 
Cemetery, 220, 226, 226, 227, 270. 
Census, 216, 261, 266, 829. 
Chalmers, Sheriff, 168. 

„ Patrick, 197, 217, 225, 249. 
„ Rey. Dr, 214. 
Chapels, 17. 
Chuionry House, 83. 
„ .Wvnd, 257. 
Chanter's Mause, 43. 
Chaplains. 8u Church. 
Chaplainries, 48, 50. 
Chapmen of Angus, 275. 
Chapter of Cathedral, 48, 49. 
Charles I., 63, 65, 68, 69. 

„ II., 77, 91, 92, 98, 94, 95. 
Charles, Prince, 141. 
Cartels, 1, 2. 6, 10, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 
23, 27. 80, 82, 41, 42, 43, 48, 56, 
112, 125. 
Cheese, 269. 

Chester, John, Earl of, 17. 
Chews, 269. 
Chickens, 269. 
Cholera, 119, 221. 
Christopher, Saint, 51 . 
Chur«h Matters, 219. 

Roman Catholic, 1, 5, 6, 7, 16, 

19, 87, 42, 48, 101, 254. 
Reformed Presbyterian, 7, 87, 
76, 114, 138, 152, 164, 183, 
Episcopalian, 7, 89, 59, 68, 64, 
74, 77, 84, 85, 89, 98, 95, 102, 
134, 149, 169, 217, 226. 
United Presbyterian. Su 

Free. See Fne, 
Bible, 128. 
Clock, 77. 
Seats, 64, 124. 

Street, 155, 185, 206, 208, 212, 
264, 278, 279, 281, 282, 283. 
Yard, 71, 82, 124, 220. 








Church of Brechin, 1, 4, 6, 7, 16, 17, 

21, 26, 29, 81, 82, 86, 45, 48, 

59, 61, 68, 64, 74, 77, 81, 100, 

123, 188, 152, 162, 182, 215, 

219, 229, 230, 253. 
Cists, 207. 

Circuit Courty Dundee, 27. 
City Cross. See Cross. 
City Guard, 97. 
City of Glasgow Bank, 269. 
City Hall, 283. 
City Nursery, 274. 
City Road Church, 227. 
City Road, 193, 224, 264, 278. 
Claverhouse, Graham of, 105. 
Cleansers, 70. 
Clement YI., Pope, 19. 
Clergy in Brechin, 277. 
Clerk Street, 52, 194, 203, 210, 264, 282. 
Climate, 261. 

Clocks of Church, 77 ; Town, 187, 165. 
Close, Bishop's. See Bishop's Close. 
Clothing Society, 217. 
Cloyne, Round Tower of, 251. 
Coaches, 200, 221. 
Coals, 268, 269. 
Coal Fund, 228, 281. 
Coffins, ancient, 254. 
Colloce, John de, 26, 28. 

„ Thomas, 27. 
College of Justice, 37. 

„ Yard, 5. 

„ Well, 5. 
Collison, Mr, 245, 247. 
Cologne Cathedral, 221. 
Columba, Saint, 4, 7. 
Colmeallie, 7. 
Commercial Hotel, 282. 
Commissary Court, 77, 78. 
Common Muir, Cognition of, 33. See 

Common Den. See Den. 
Connor, de of Ballybriken, 10. 
Constable. See Justiciar and Constable. 
Constables, 65, 94, 198. 
Conyener of Trades, 92, 132 ; Court, 58. 
Conventicles and Covenanters, 63, 66, 

93, 96. 
Convention of Royal Burghs, 2, 18, 61, 

83, 106, 112, 189. 
Cookston, 109, 110, 158, 222, 254, 264, 

266, 267. 
Cum Crops, deficient, 31, 91. 

„ Laws, 215, 219. 

„ Mill, 222. 
Corduroy, 167. 
Corporation. Su Municipal. 
. Cotton MiU, 272. 
Council and Session, Lords of, 36. 
Coimdl. See Town Council 



Council, First Election of, 84. 
„ Meetings, 208. 
yy Room, 281. 
Coupar, 41. 

Courts, 44, 85, 120, 227. 
Court-room, 226. 
Covenanters. See Conven tides. 
Crabb, James, 216, 288. 
Crafts. See Trades. 
Craig, 87. 
Crawford, Earl of, 21, 27, 29, 49, 66, 

Cricket Club, 221, 228, 281. 
Crimean War, 225. 

Crofts, 51, 52, 194, 203. See Markets. 
Cromwell, Oliver, 37, 66, 78. 
Cross, Holy, 50 ; of Burgh, 112, 138, 

Cross Ouns Tavern, 282. 
Crown Inn, 256, 282. 
Cruik, 26. 
Cruizin, 192. 
Culdees, 1, 4, 8. 
CuUoden, Battle of, 142, 146. 
Cumberland, Duke of, 119, 124, 140, 

Cupar, 99. 
Curling, 226, 281. 
Currency Laws, 220. 
Customs, Local, 180, 184, 187, 276. 
Right of, 30. 
on Foreign Goods, 38. 

Dakers' Mortification, 280. 
Dalgety, 17, 256. 
Dalhousie, Lord, 55. 

„ Fox, Earl of, 224, 226, 286. 

Dam Acre, 108. 
Danes, 3, 11. 
Darien Scheme, 110. 
David I., 1, 2, 4, 6, 19. 

„ XL, 19, 20. 
Davie, John, 130. 
Deacon, Convener, 132. 
Dear Years, 81, 39, 171, 181, 188, 217. 
Defiance Coach, 221. 
Dempster, Walter, 29; William, 33; 
Matthew, 33 ; Thomas, 79. 
„ of Carreston, 50. 

Den, 112, 120, 183, 186. 
Den Bum, 108, 265, 272. 
Den Nursery, 186, 228, 264, 265, 274. 
Desks in Church, 64, 100, 124. 
Denmark, 12, 37. 
Derivation of Name of Brechin, 8. 
Dick, Dr, 217. 

Dickson and Turnbull, 256, 274. 
Dispensary, 191, 281. 
Disruption of Kirk of Scotland in 1848, 


DistiUeries, 189, 278. 

Distillery Lane, 210, 264. 

Doig, David, 140; Dr David, 177; 

John, 122, 126, 128. ^29, 140; Agnes, 

Lady Carnegie, 282. 
Donald I., 5. 

Donaldson, David, 71, 85, 93, 95. 
Donations to Church, 77, 80. 
Douglas, Gawin, 287. 

„ Robert, Bishop, 96, 319. 
Dove Wells, 158, 184, 186, 193. 
Dovertie, Wm., 168, 184, 185. 
Dress of Boys, 167 ; Men, 185. 
Dreuse in Gaul, 9. 
Drinking Habits, 186. 
Druids, 6, 8, 14. 
Drumcaim, 29. 
Drum, John of, 49. 
Drums, Middle, 41 ; West, 49. 
Drumlachlan, Ireland, 245. 
Drummond, James, Bishop, 102, 114, 

Drummond, John, 165. 
Drumsleed, 99. 
Duchad O'Brian, 244. 
Dumblane, See of, 6. 
Dun, 21, 86, 87, 268. 
Duncan, John, 162. 

Dundee, 3, 21, 26, 80, 50, 51, 60, 66 
67, 77, 84, 88, 99. 
„ Bank, 158. 
„ Viscount, 105. 
Dunfermline, 4. 
Ducklings, 269. 
Dung on Streets, 180. 
Dunkeld, See of, 6. 
Dunlappy, 18, 264. 
Dunnottar, 88. 
Duthoc, St, Altarage of, 52. 

Eaglesjohn, 21. 

East India Company, 111. 

East Church. 213, 214, 217. 
„ Free Church, 226. 
„ Mill, 272. 

Ecclesiatics in Town, 277. See Church. 

Edinburgh, City, 8, 66 ; Council Re- 
cords, 88 ; University, 169. 

Educational Institution of Free Church, 

Educational Society, 222. 

Edward L, King, 18, 287; Edwaid II., 

Bdaell, 6, 7, 87, 214. 

Eggs, 269 ; Markets, 225. 

Elder, Ruling, 188, 169. 

Election, PoU, 105. 

„ of Council, 64, 82, 84, 105, 

„ in 1882, 204. 



Election of Tradea, 194. 

„ of M.P., 197, 201. 
Eminent Men of Brechin, 287. 
Erick, the Dane, 12. 
EpiBcopacy, 6, 68, 76, 87, 93. 
Episcopal, Chapel, 278. 
Erakine of Brechin, 87, 45. 

„ of Dun, 21, 86, 87, 41. 
Eflk River, 72, 160. 
Excise, 92, 95, 268. 
Exerciae, Church, 87. 
Exports, 54, 78. 

Fairs. See Markets. 

Falconer of Newton, 107, 108. 

Fancy Fair, 220. 

Fanning of Parish, 258. 

Famell, 87, 258. 

Feal, 120. 

Feam, 9, 34, 87. 

Feeing Markets, 275. See Markets. 

Fenton, James, of Ogil, 83. 

Ferrier, David, merchant, 145. 

Ferriers of Kintrocket, 255. 

Feu-duties, Bishop's Qrant of, 108, 109. 

„ Holding, 265. 

Feusof Muir, 137. 
Findowrie, 28, 41, 68, 280. 
Finhaven, 24, 28. 49, 161. 
Forbes, Bishop, 227. 
Foote» Rev. A. L. R., 218. 
Foot Soldiers, 66. 
Forfar, 80, 68. 
Fires, 87, 191, 192, 218. 
Fire-engine, 218. 
Fish, 269. 
Fleshers, 56, 156. 
Fleshmarket^ 128, 182, 156, 225. 
Fletcher of Saltoun, 110. 
Flodden Battle, 56. 
Floods, 197, 220, 224. 
Flour, 269. 
Food, 267, 269. 
Fordmouth, 197. 
Fordyce, Rev. James, 149, 152. 
Forfar, 18, 17, 80, 68. 
Forked Acre, 21, 82. 
Free Church, 138, 214, 217, 218, 221, 

226, 278, 279. 
French Invasion, Threatened, 172. 
Frian, Red, 51. 
Friendly Societies, 283. 
Fuel, 154, 269. 
Fonerals, 190. 

„ Fine for non-attendance at, 59. 
Fyfe's Mortification, 279. 

Qainahot, 187. 
Oalgacus, 13. 
GaUowgate, 113. 

QallowhiU, 91, 189, 264. 

Garioch, Earl of, 16. 

Gas, 205, 267, 288. 

Gate Penny, 60. 

Geddes, Janet, 63, 93. 

General Assembly, 226. 

George I., 125, 134; Geoi^ge II., 137; 

George III., 154; George IV., 187, 

191, 197. 
George, Saint, 52. 
Gibson, James, 218. 
Gillies, Adam, 169, 179, 288. 

„ CoUn, 178, 177, 179. 

„ Dr John, 178, 288. 
Gilfumman, in Gleneek, 7. 
Gifts tp Church, 77, 80. 
Gin as a Drink, 166. 
Glammis, 13. 

Glasgow, 99, 159 ; See of, 6. 
Glebe, 215, 277. 
Glenbervie, 47, 49. 
Glencadam, 265, 274. 
Glendey, Rev. John, 104, 288. 
Glenesk, 7, 29, 49. 
Glovers, 58. 
Gold's Yards, 264. 
Gordon, Earl Huntly, 27. 
Gordon, J. L., town -clerk, 229. 
Gough, Richard, 239, 245, 247. 
Governors of Brechin, 128. 
Grain Markets, 274. 
Graham, Patrick, Archbishop, 29. 
Patrick, Bishop, 29, 310. 
of Claverhouse, 105. 
of Leuchland, 79. 
Grammar School, 89, 157, 184, 201. 
Grampians, 7. 

Grants to Church. See Church. 
Graves, Ancient, 207. 
Grave-stones, Ancient, 254. 
Gray's Acre, 186. 
Greenhill, David, 220. 
Great Britain, United Kingdom of. 111, 

Grose, Mr, 237. 
Guard, City, 97. 
Guildhall, 165. 
Guildry, 60, 85, 111, 123, 132, 157, 

165, 169, 188, 276. 
Guild Sister, 86. 
Gun, Willie, 216. 
Guthrie, Benefice of, 48. 
David, 224. 
Gideon, 127, 129. 
John, Kincraig, 119. 
Thomas, Rev. Dr, 289. 
WUliam, Rev., Pitforthy, 80, 

William, author, 135, 288. 
Gypsies, 167. 








HabiU, &c., of People, 267. 

Hackett, Wm. Ireland, 250. 

Hair Caini, 27. 

Haliburton, Qeorge, Biahop, 98, 319. 

Hall, Town, and Prisona, 164, 281. 

Hammermen Trade, 44, 58, 60, 113. 

See Trades ; Records, 59. 
Handsel! Monday, 190. 
Harris, Mr, of Ireland, 245. 
Harbour of Montrose, 207. 
Harold, the Dane, 12. 
Haugh of Brechin, 32. 
Haughmuir, 188. 
Hazard Sloop of War, 145, 150. 
Head Court of Burgh, 85. 

„ Stones in Churchyard, 124. 
Health, Boaid of, 199. 
Hens, 269. 

Henderson, George, 160, 228, 238. 
John, Nurseryman, 186. 

„ architect) 288. 
& Sons, 274. 
Hendry de Brechin, 16, 17. 
Hendry, Charles, 215. 

„ John, 288. 
Henry de Lichton, 248. 
Hepburn, John, Bishop, 35, 313. 
Herd, Town's, 113. 
Herzeld, 31. 

Heritors of Brechin Parish, 262. 
High Street, 179, 206, 208, 212, 253, 

263, 264, 278, 281. 
Highlanders in Brechin, 142. 
Hiring markets, 275. 
Hog, Alexander, preceptor of Maison- 

dieu, 256. 
Holidays, 226. 
Holy Cross, 50, 52. 
Holy Writ, Act anent, 35. 
Honorius, Pope, 6. 
Horse Markets, 275. 
Horse, Regiment of, 66. 
Horticultural Society, 214. 
Hospital of Brechin, 43, 171, 265. 
Hospitium of Knight Templars, 256. 
Hotels, 282. 
Houses and Rents, 267. 
Huddleston, Mr, 9. 
Hume, Joseph, M.P., 197, 219, 220. 
Huntington, Earl of, 16. 
Huntly, Alex. Qordon, Earl of, 27, 

HuntlyhiU, 27. 
Hurry, General, 67. 
Hurricane in October 1838, 214. 
Husbandry of Pfurish, 259. 
Huts for Plague Patients, 71. 
HuttoDy James, Town-officer, 174. 

Improvements, 179, 206, 207, 217. 

Inch, 153, 208, 220, 222, 224, 226, 271, 

Income of Buiigh, 276. 
Incorporations, 276. 
Incorporated Trades, 56, 97, 140. 
Indigent Ladies' Society, 281. 
Infant School, 205, 220. 
Inglis, Meg, 186. 
Inns, 282. 

Innes, Cosmo, 2, 5, 6. 
Innocent, Pope, 20. 
Institution, Mechanics, 205, 288. 
Insurance Companies, 269. 
Invasion, Threatened, 172. 
Ireland, 9. 
Ireland, James, 278. 

Jack, Charles, 170. 

Jacobites of Forfarshire, 148. 

Jail, 45, 90, 96, 112, 206, 215, 218,228, 

James I., 21, 23, 120; IL, 21, 26, 27, 

29, 56 ; III., 29, 30 ; IV., 27, 38, 66 ; 

v., 3, 32, 37 ; VI., 38, 42, 43, 46, 53, 

56, 73, 125; VII., 54, 60, 96, 100, 

105; VIII., 54, 126, 130, 147, 160. 
James, The Pretender, 130. 
James, St, The Apostle, 60. 
James Place, 264. 
Jamieson, Thomas, 272. 
Jedburgh, 41. 

Jervise, Andrew, 11, 238, 289. 
Jesu Nomine, Chaplainry o^ 61. 
Jews, 167. 
John, The Pope, 19. 
John, St, of Jerusalem, 24. 
John, St, The Evangelist, 61. 
Johnston, Rev. John, 140. 
Jolly, James, 249, 260. 
Juliana, Mother of William de Brechin, 

July Fair, 214. 
Justice Hall, 216. 
Justice of Peace Courts, 277. 
Justiciary and Constable^ 66, 106, 12S, 

Justiciary, High Court of, 68. 
Juvenile Society, 186. 

Katherin, St, Virgin, 61. 

Keithock, 13, 24, 34, 160. 

Keldeis or Culdees, 1, 4, 8. 

Kenneth III., 8, 4. 

Kettle, The First Tea, in Brechin, 140. 

Kildare, Round Tower of, 289. 

Kilgarry or Kilgerre, The Forest and 

Hermitage of, 26, 27. 
Kilkenny, Round Tower of, 289. 
Killiecrankie, Battle of, 106. 
Killivair, 14. 



Kilmoir, 41, 43, 49. 

„ Manae of, 257. 
Kinbrockei, 82. 
Kinonig, 82. 

Kinnaird, 17, 56, 78, 87, 180, 222, 254. 
Kinnimond, John de, Bishop, 17, 808. 
Kirk Den, 16. 

Kirk Door Keys, Lands of, 52. 
Kirk-sessions. 64, 72, 74, 76, 81, 86, 90, 

92, 96, 100, 109, 118, 126, 128, 188, 

188, 196. 

„ Records, 111. 

Kirkyard Bum, 264. 
Kirriemair, 60. 
Kistayeens, 207. 
Knights Templars, 256, 284. 
Knox, Provost^ 189, 141. 
Kuldees, Kyldees, or Culdees, 1, 4, 8. 

Labourers, 268. 

Lady, Altarage of Our, 51. 

Lady Day formerly commenced year, 

Ladies* Coal Fund, 228. 
Laing, James, 211. 

„ Alexander, 227, 288. 
Lammas Muir Market, 109, 208, 275. 
liamns. 222 

Landwaid Session, 70, 72, 115, 118. 
Langhaugh, 14. 
Langley Park, Lands of, 21. 
Latch Lands, 266. 

„ Road, 198, 264. 
Laurence, St, 51. 
Lawrie, Robert, Bishop, 818. 
Leighton, Sir David, 228. 
Leightonhill Muir, 7. 
Leod, Abbot, 4, 5. 

„ Donald, his Grandson, 5. 
Lethnot, 24, 26, 49, 87, 264. 
Leuchars, Patrick de, Bishop, 21, 805. 
Leuchland, 32, 65. 
Libraries, 280, 288. 

Lichton, Henry de, of Lethnot, 248, 249. 
Liddell, Bailie, 85. 
Lindsay, Sir David, of Glenesk, 49. 
„ David, Bishop, 68, 316. 
„ Heritable Smith, 32. 
Linen Trade, 124, 158, 270. 
Linton, Rev. William, 201, 255. 
Lion, William the, 1. 
UtUe Brechin, 187, 279. 
Little Carcary, 31. 
LitUeMill,40, 50, 187. 
„ Stairs, 108. 

Little Steeple, 96, 104. Sm Round 

Livingstoo Parish, 11. 
Loan of Cookston, 109. 
Local Militia, 178, 182. 


Lochleven, 5, 29. 

Lochty, 84. 

Locomotion on Roads, 199, 200. 

Loft in Church, 86, 162. 

Logiepert, 147. 

Logic, Peter, 146. 

Low, Alexander, of Swan Inn, 148. 

Low, Andrew, 168. 

Low, Bishop David, 225. 

Lowe, Robert, 288. 

Lower Wynd, 155, 185. See Church 

Lower Tenements, 197. S9$ River 

Loyalty Fund, 170. 
Lyall, Rev. Mr, 151. 

Magdalene, St Mary, 50, 52. 
„ Chapel, 50, 261. 

Magistrates, 276. 
Maidlen Chapel, 50. 
Mails, 284. 

Maiaondieu Chapel, 16, 17, 51, 192, 
PrsBceptory, 89, 256, 279. 
Farm of, 256, 258, 266. 
Land, 278. 
Yennel, 255. 
Maitland, William, 152, 287. 
Malcolm IL, 8, 11 ; IV., 6. 

„ Alexander, 195. 
Malise, 5. 
Malt, 44. 
Maltmen, 61, 95. 

Manse, 139, 215, 277. Offices, 183. 
Manufactures, 78, 229, 270. 
Mar, Earl of, 45, 125, 126, 181. 
Mar's Year, 125. 
Marches, 107, 109, 187, 228. 
, Mai^garet of Norway, 18. 
Marionettes, 209. 

Markets, 1, 17, 20, SO, 31, 107, 108, 109, 
138, 156, 174, 181, 190, 194, 204, 214, 
222 274. 
Market Street, 51, 179, 194, 208, 210, 

256, 263, 264, 279, 282. 
Marwick, J. D., City-clerk of Edin- 
burgh, 8. 
Marriages, 100. 
Martin, Rev. James, 288. 
Mary, Virgin, Chapel of, 17. StaU, 51. 
Mary, Queen, 36, 46. 
Mary, St, Street, 179, 210, 264, 279. 
Maiyton, 26, 87. 
Masons, 226, 268. 
Mason Lodge, St James, 279, 283. 

„ Knight Templars, 284. 

St Ninian's, 284. 
Mather, Bailie, 143. 








Maule, Hon. Fox, 224. 

Harry, of KeUy, 54, 108. 
Hon. Lauderdale^ 225. 
Panmure Family, 54, 64, 201. 
Sir Thomas, 18, 287. 

„ Hon. William, 201, 223. 
Meal, 91, 164, 171, 188. 
MealhiU, 108. 
Meal-market, 131, 164. 
Meal-mUla, 180. 
Meal-mob, 188. 
Meal Wynd, 91, 131. 
Measures and Weights, 24, 160. 
Mechanics' Institution, 205, 208, 217, 

220, 224, 280, 281, 283. 
Meetings of Council, 208. 
Meldrum, William, Bishop, 52, 311. 
Melville, Rev. Henry, 213. 
Member of Parliament, 121, 125, 187, 

197, 201, 220, 265. 
Memes, Dr John, 227, 288. 
Menmuir, 10, 25, 26, 71, 76, 126, 258, 

264, 266. 
Merchants, 61. 
Merchant Society, 284. 
Michael Den Bum, 264. 
Middle Drums, 41 . 
Militia, 94, 173, 183. 
Mill, John, kirk-officer, 69, 77. 
Mills of Brechin, 17, 40, 45, 105, 108, 

113, 128, 180, 191, 222. 
Mill Stairs, 51^ 108, 137, 206, 228, 

Millar, David, Arbroath, 5. 
Minister, Choosing a, 74. 
Minister of Brechin, Second, 183. 
Ministers' Stipends, 276, 277. 
Mistletoe of the Oak, 7. 
Mitchell, Alexander, 225. 
Mitchell, Rev. A. F., 289. 
Mitchell, Convener David, 15. 
Mitchell k Young, seedsmen, 274. 
Moir, Bishop David, 220, 326. 
Molison, Provost, 141, 151, 187. 
Monroumonth Muir, 73. 
Montboy, 34. 
Montrose Burgh, 11, 15, 20, 24, 30, 31, 

88, 51, 57, 66, 71, 76, 84, 87, 88, 

141, 164. 165, 167, 187, 207. 
Montrose Bridge, 167. 
Montrose Harbour, 207. 
Montrose, Marquis of, 67, 69, 84. 
MontroH Bevieto Newspaper, 217. 
Montrose Street^ 218, 224, 263, 265, 

266, 279. 
Moman, Thane of Brechin, 12. 
Moss of Brechin, 75. 
Morton, Regent, 48, 46. 
Mortifications for education , 81, 104, 

279, 280. 

Muir of Brechin, 26, 83, 83, 187, IS9, 

160, 206, 219. 
Muirfauld, 34, 159, 219. 
Muirland School, 279. 
Municipal Corporation, 1. 
Murlingden, 71. 
Murray, Lord G^i^ge, 142. 
Murray, Regent, 89. 
Murray, See of, 6. 
Macalpine, Kenneth, 8, 4, 52. 
Macarthur, WUliam, toim-offioer, 174. 
M'Coeh, Rev. Dr James, 213. 
M'Oregor of Crofts, 194. 
Street^ 208. 


Navar, 30, 87, 45, 64, 87, 104, 201, 264, 

Navy, Men to serve in the, 170. 
Negroes, none in pariah, 167. 
Nether Tenements, 148, 268. See 

River Street 
Nether Wynd. See Lower Wynd. 
Newspaper, Local, 197, 221, 270. 
Newton, Falconer of, lOT, 108. 
Nero, Emperor, 69. 
Nicoi Dr John P., 288. 
Nicolas, Saint, Altarage of, 62. 
Ninian, Saint, Altarage of, 52. 
Ninian, Saint, masons, 284. 
Noble families connected with Brechin, 

Nomine Jesn, ChapUunry of, 61. 
Noran, River, 78. 
Nerval, Rev. Mr, 218. 
Norsemen, 7. 

North Port, 91, 95, 189, 268, 265, 274. 
North Port Distillery, 278.- 
Northem Lights, 131. 
North-water-bridge Market, 107. 
Norway Dikes, 12. 
Nurseries, 113, 226, 274. 
Nursery, Den, 186, 228. 

Oak, Misletoe on, 7. 

Oaths to Qovemment, 95, 100. 

Oathlaw, 13, 87. 

Oatmeal, 269. 

Obelisk at Carnoustie, 12. 

Odd Fellow Society, 284. 

Officer, Captain, 102. 

Officers, Town, 174, 190. 

Ogil, Lain! of, 145. 

OgUvy, John, of Little Brechin, 187. 

Ogilvy, Lord, 145. 

Olave, the Dane, 12. 

Orange, Prince of, 100. 

Ordinary Ale to he drunk, 120. 

Origin of Brechin, 1. 

Ormiston, WUliam, 238. 





Oswalds^ Guthriesy and Craig, 222. 

Packmen, 275. 

Palatine of Stratheam, 22, 51. 
Panbride, 12. 

Panmure, Family of, 54, HB^ 64, 106, 
126, 160,201,256,265. 
Lord, 185, 201, 205, 208, 209, 

217, 222, 228, 282. 
Street, 52, 194, 203, 210, 
264 278. 
Paper-miU, 105,' 222,' 272. 
Pariah School, 184, 187, 201. 
Parliament, Member of, 88, 93, 121, 

125, 197, 220. 
Parliamentary Boundaries, 265, 266. 
„ Electors, 201, 265. 

„ Reform, 188. 

Parochial Board, 226. 

„ Lodging-house, 224. 
Pasturage of Trinity Muir, 188. 
Paterson, William, 110. 
Path Head, 169. 

Path Wynd, 205, 208. 8u Bridge St 
Path Road, 190, 228. 
Patriotic Fund, 225. 
Patter, Tibbie, 155. 
Patrick, Bishop, 248. 
Pkviour, 60. 
Pawnbrokers, 268. 
Pearse Street, 264. 
Perambulation of Muirs, 219. 
Peats, 269. 
Pennant, Mr, 244. 
Peel, Sir Robert, 221. 
Pennyoook, William, 288. 
Pettintoscall, 82. 
Petrie, Dr Qeorge, 251. 
Pews in Church, 60, 100. 
Pewter Dishes, 167. 
PhiUp, Bishop, of Brechin, 19, 805. 
PicUvia, 9. 

Picts, or Peghts, 8, 247. 
Pigs, 269. 
Piper, 90. 
Pitarrow, 56. 
Pitforthie, 9, 29, 81, 266. 
PitpuUox, 9, 82, 140. 
Pittendriech, 9, 32, 258. 
Pittengardner, 51. 

Plague, or Pestilence, 52, 60, 70, 255. 
Plan of Brechin, by Wood, 191. 

„ Trinity Muir, by Henderson, 

Players, Stage^ 175, 221. 
Pob, 154. 
Police, 198, 277. 

„ Act, 221, 222, 225, 226, 228, 
270, 276. 

„ Office, 206, 281. 

PoU Election, 105, 128. 

Poor, 171, 181, 187, 188, 196, 216, 226, 

Poor-House, 224. 
Pork, 269. 

Population, 216, 223, 260, 266, 829. 
Pope Clement, 19. 

„ Innocent, 19. 

„ John, 19. 
Ports of Burgh, 95, 138, 153. 
Posting-master, 84. 
Post-Offioe, 270, 284. 
Potatoes, 269. 
Poultry, 269. 
Powbridge, 83. 
Power Looms, 229, 271. 
Prain, David, 198, 216. 
Prseceptory of Maisondieu, 89, 201» 
Precentor, 183. 
Precedence in Council, 162. 
Prentice Neuk, 208. 
Presbyterianism, 63, 76, 87, 93, 114. 
Presbytery of Brechin, 277. 

„ Records, 87, 98, 115, 127, 
149, 279. 
Pretender, James, 130. 
Prince Regent, 187. 
Prince of Wales, 217, 228. 
Printing Establishment, 125, 197. 
Privy Council, 90. 
Privy Seal Records, 40, 46. 
Prior of the Culdees, 5. 
Prison, 45, 90, 96, 112, 206, 215, 218, 

228, 281. 
Proclamation of Banns, 183. 
Procurator before Sheriff, 45. 
Professional Men, 218, 269. 
Properties, Tenure of, in Buigh, 265. 
Property of the Burgh, 276. 
Protestantism, 37. 
Provisions, Price of, 269. 
Provost First Elected, 111. 
Public Affairs, 187, 197, 220, 221, 267. 

„ Records, 1. 
Punch-bowl, 263. 

Qualochty, 34. 
Quarries, 268. 

Ragged School, 222, 291. 

RaUways, 190, 192, 205, 214, 216, 218, 

219, 221, 259, 284. 
Randolph de Strathphetham, 16. 
Reading Rooms, 224, 225. 
RebeUion in 1715, 108, 125. 

„ 1745, 82, 91, 119, 141, 
Red Friars, 51. 
RedhaU, 51. 
Redhead, 12 



Reeves, Dr, 4. 

Reform, Political, 170, 188, 215. 
Reform Acts, 93, 123, 157, 189. 
Reformation, 37, 39. 
Refreshment Rooms, 224. 
Regiments of Horse and Foot, 66. 
Registrar of Births, &c., 270. 
Registrum Episcopatua Brechinensia, 6, 

Restennet, 41. 
Richard of Cirencester, 18. 
Rifle Corps, 227, 228. 
River Street, 148, 197, 220, 224, 268, 

265, 266. 
Roads, 17, 160, 165, 174, 199, 200, 

201, 204, 216, 262, 268. 
Robert I., 17, 172. 
„ II., 20, 22, 29. 
„ Bishop of St Andrews, 5. 
Roman Catholics, 37, 167. 
Roman Camps, 12, 13. 
Rome, Church of, 4. 
Rose, George, 178, 288. 
Ross, See of, 6. 
Ross of Rossie, 197. 
Round Tower, 24, 46, 96, 104, 219, 

230, 234, 252. 
Royal Burghs, Constitution of, 1. 
Royal Bank, 269. 
Royal Proclamation, 169. 
Royal Tribunal of Druids, 9. 
Royalty of Burgh, 259, 266. 
Ruling Elder, 180, 169, 226. 
Russian Gun, 225. 
Ruxton, Robert, 188. 

Sabbath Alliance, 220. 

Observance of, 59. 
Schools, 152, 280. 
Saint Andrews, Bishop of, his Right of 

Market, 1 ; Canon of, 5 ; See of, 6. 
Saint David Street, 179, 199, 210, 256, 

264, 282. 
Saint John of Jerusalem, Hospital of, 

Saint Mary Street, 179, 210, 264, 279. 
Saint Sebastian, 52. 
Saltoun, Lady, 166. 
Savings Banks, 198, 269. 
Samson, Culdee, 5. 
Sansane, Bishop, 6, 299. 
SawmUl, 272. 
Scales Acre, 52, 208. 

„ Lane, 208. 
Schools, 45, 89, 112, 140, 157, 160, 181, 

184, 187, 201, 208, 215, 222, 226, 

227, 279, 282. 
School Fees, 158, 181, 202, 288. 
House, 112, 160. 
Infant, 205. 


School Loft in Church, 188. 

„ Master, 45, 89. 

„ Mistress, 181. 
Scott, Alexander, 47, 287. 
Scott, Sir Walter, 14, 244. 
Scots Acts, 2. 

Seats in Church, 64, 100, 124. 
Sebastian, Saint, Altarage of, 52. 
Secession Churches, 217. 
Sessions, Kirk, 72 ; Lords of, 86. 
Sett of the Burgh, 122. 
Sewing-machines, 225. 
Shambles, 276. 
Sharp, William, 107. 
Sharpe, Archbishop, 94. 
Shanks, Rev. William, 139. 
Sheriff-courts, 38, 45, 207. 
Sherwood, Arms of Bishop, 228. 
Shiress, William, slater, 250. 

„ „ writer, 211. 

Shoemakers, 58. 
Shuffle Katie, 209. 
Sievewright, Norman, 178. 
Simpson, Deacon, precentor, 183. 
Simpson of Ogil, 176. 
Simpson, Thomas, at Abemethy, 240, 

241, 242. 
Sinclair of Roslin, 86. 
Skinner, Laurence, 74, 81 , 89, 108^ 114, 
John, 103, 114. 117, 118. 
Skinner's Bum, 264, 265. 
Skinner trade, 265. 
Slateford, 13. 
Slavery, 99. 
Small, Dr Abemethy, 248, 246, 246, 

Small Debt Court, 207. 
Smith, Lindsay, hereditaiy blacksmith, 

Smith, Charles, author, 245. 

„ Colvin, 184, 289. 

,, John, of Andover, 226. 
Smugglers, 278. 
Snow in Summer, 222. 
Societies, 280, 281. 
Soil of Parish, 258. 
Soldiers, 66, 94. 
Soup Kitchen, 72. 
Southesk, Family of, 81, 56, 78, 126, 

164, 168, 170, 178, 197, 217, 220, 

Southesk River, 10, 72, 160, 197, 222, 

258, 268, 264, 265, 277, 286. 
Southesk Street, 112, 194, 208, 210, 

218, 220, 264, 278, 282. 
South Port, 50, 169, 206, 264. 
Spalding Club Miscellany, 19, 82. 
Special Constables, 198. 
Speid of Ardovie, 254. 



Spences, Town-elerlu, 44, 82. 

Spence, BaiUe, 125, 127, 129. 

Spinning-mill, 222, 272. 

Spring TrjTBt^ 275. 

Stamp Maaten, 124. 

Standing Stones, 7, 12. 

SUnnachy, 72, 192, 201, 268. 

Star Hotel, 282. 

State Taxes, 2, 80, 87. 

Statute Labour Roads, 174. 

Steeples, 24, 46, 82, 96, 104, 219, 228, 

230, 252. 
Stelites, Simon, 245. 
Stennis, in Orkney, 7. 
Stewart, Charles Edward, 142. 
Stewart, James, Lord of Brechin, 80. 

„ Walter, „ 22, 51. 

Stone, Curious Carved, in Churchyard, 

Stone Coffins, 254. 
Stonehenge, 7. 

Stracathro, 10, 87, 99, 180, 258. 
Strachan, 16. 

Strachan, Alexander, writer, 228. 
Strachan, David, bishop, 77, 818. 
Strachan, Robert, kirk-offioer, 89. 
Strangers, Act against, 84. 
Strathmore Railway, 192, 218. 
Strathphetham, 16. 
Streets of Burgh, 91, 131, 229, 268, 

264, 282. 
Streets, Repaired, 169, 214 ; Renamed, 

Sueno of Denmark, 12. 
Suiigeons, 218, 269. 
Swan Inn, 91, 148, 282. 
Swan Street Improved, 229. 
Swine, 269. 
Symmer of Bakordie, 79. 

Tailors, 58, 155, 225 ; Trade Election, 

Tanners, 265. 
Tamty Market, 275. 
Taxations on Burgh, 80, 37. 
Tay, 18, 20. 

Tayock, Bridge, 76, 165. 
Tearkettle, The First, 140. 
Temperuice Society, 200. 
Templars, Knights, 256. 
Templehill of Bothers, 24, 257. 
Tenements Schools, 226, 227, 279. 
TenU in Markets, 165. 
Test Oaths, 100. 
Threephaugh Ford, 26. 
Thomson, Thomas, advocate, 1. 
Thomas, Saint, Altar of, 51. 
Thunday Sermon, 86. 
Tickets, Buigeas, 188. 
TUbury Fort, 147, 150. 

Timber Market, 179. 

Tings of the Norseman, 7. 

Tobacco Works, 267. 

Toddshouses on Muir, 34. 

Toland, 9. 

Tolbooth, 42, 45,90, 96, 112, 164, 206, 

215, 218, 281. 
Tolling Bells, 119. 
Toll Roads, 160. 
Torfechyn, Magister de, 24; Earl of, 

Tower, Round, 24, 234. See Round 

Town's accounts, 171. 
Town Clerk, 82, 229, 270. 

„ Hall, 164, 206, 226, 264. 

„ Herd, 113. 

„ House, 281. 

„ Officers, 174, 190. 

„ Parks, 188. 

„ Vassals, 191. 
Trades Election, 194. 

„ Incorporated, 58, 92, 97, 113, 
128, 132, 140, 155, 156, 188, 
190, 198. 

„ in Town, 268. 
Treasurer, Lord High, Books of, 88. 
Trinitarians, Order of, 51. 
Trinity Markets, 97, 159, 275. 

„ Stance, 156, 221, 281. 

„ Muir, 83, 137, 159, 160, 181, 
188, 190, 275. 

„ Village, 206, 217. 
Tryst Market, 190. 
Turkish Captives, 99. 
Turnpike Roads, 262. 
TyUer, Dr, 174. 

„ James, 175. 

Umbrellas, first in Brechin, 166. 

Uninhabited Houses, 266. 

Union Bank, 164, 269. 

Union of England and Scotland, 53, 11 1, 

Union Street, 206, 210, 224, 263, 279. 
United Presbyterian Church, 227, 278. 
University of Edinburgh, 169. 
Unthank, 52, 266. 

„ David Ferrier, tenant of, 145. 
Upper Wynd, 1 79. Set St David Street. 

„ Tenements, 263. Su Montrose 


Vaccination, 261. 
Vagrants, 70, 84. 
Valuators of Properties, 191. 
Vane of Feam, 9. 
Vassals of Town, 191. 
Vennel, 198. Su City Road. 
Vespaaiana, 18. 



Victoria I., 207, 209, 216, 219. 
Virgin Mary, Chapel of, 17. 
Vocal Society, 281. 
Volunteers, 172, 173, 182. 
Voters, Parliamentary, 201. 

Wages of Tradesmen, 267. 
Wales, Prince of, 217, 228. 
Walker, David, 199. 
Warden, town-officer, 141. 
Warnings of Tenants, 186. 
Washing-house, 203, 228, 276. 
Washing-mills, 180. 
Water, 158, 214, 222, 224, 227, 276, 

Water to Private Houses, 214. 
Waterstone, David, 33. 
Wateon, David, 134, 287. 
Watson, James, 139. 
Waulk Mill, 40, 108. 
Way, Albert, 238. 
Weavers, 58, 271. 
Wedgwood Ware, 167. 
Weigh-house, 45, 128, 180, 276. 
Weighing-machine, 187. 
Weighte and Measures, 44, 169. 

Wellington, Duke of, 224. 

WeUs, 158, 193, 222. 

Welsh, Rev. James, 288. 

Western Bank, 227. 

Whisky, Manufacture of, 267, 273, 

William the Lion, 1. 

IV., 197, 198, 207. 
,, Prince of Orange, 100. 
Willison, Rev. John, 115. 
Wilson, Dr Daniel, 252. 
Windell, Mr, Ireland, 251. 
Wishart, John, of Pltarrow, 51. 
Witehes, 73, 75. 
Witoh liranks, 76. 
Witehden, 76, 283. 
Witehden Mill, 272. 
Wood's Plan of Brechin, 191. 
Wool Fair, 222. 
Wright, Elisha, 24, 248. 
Wright Trade, 190; Society, 284. 
Wrighto in Brechin, 268. 
Writers in Brechin, 218, 226, 269. 

Years, Dear, 30. 

York Building Company, 55, 57.